In this week's edition of Reporter's Roundtable hosted by Michael Aron, New Jersey's leading State news makers discuss top political stories, including the budget bill recap, the Rutgers-Rowan merger and teacher tenure.

Nick Acocella of Politifax, Matt Katz of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kevin McArdle of Townsquare Media's NJ101.5 and John Reitmeyer of the Record of Bergen County were on the show as guests for this Friday's show.

On NJ's Budget Bill

Michael Aron opens the segment by asking, "Who won this budget battle?"

McArdle says it remains to be seen. He then explains the difference between the "promise of a tax cut" and "the guarantee of a tax cut."

Katz says that Governor Chris Christie has been using the Democrats' millionaire tax hike as ammunition at town halls to gain support for his tax cut.

What's the Meaning of Corzine Democrats?

Aron asks what the reporters think about Christie's recently-coined term, "Corzine Democrats."

The funny thing is, "there really weren't Corzine Democrats when Corzine was governor," Reitmeyer says. "That's why he's not here, he couldn't convince his own Democratic colleagues to do a lot of the big things he wanted to do."

On Rutgers-Rowan Merger

How did the Rutgers-Rowan merger get done when skeptics were doubting the likelihood of a compromise, Aron asks the group.

It's a case study in Governor Christie and South Jersey Democrats and the "power of those two forces together," Katz says. He says the hearings lacked so much information, and yet the deal moved forward and "deals were made, and compromises were made in back rooms from New Brunswick to Camden."

Aron asks, have the sponsors and supporters of the idea sold it?

"It's been decades in the making," McArdle says, "I bet we'd have to wait a decade at least to find out if it's a win."


"He'll sign it, this will be the first significant education bill passed during his reign here," Katz says.

"NJEA got a lot, in fact most of what it wanted in this bill," Acocella says.

Did Christie beat the NJEA into submission on this issue, Aron asks.

Reitmeyer says expects the governor to sign this, despite the fact that he didn't get everything he wanted.