Christie Lays Out His 2014 Wishlist [VIDEO/AUDIO/POLL]
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laid out his vision for the coming year in Tuesday's State of the State address, taking aim at sick leave and pension payouts to state workers and calling for more school hours for students.
After reviewing economic accomplishments, the Republican governor also stressed how bipartisan cooperation has played a major role in moving the state forward.
Christie proposed ending sick leave payouts and doing away with bail for dangerous criminals while they await trial, and he also pushed the ideas of longer school days for students and expanding drug treatment programs across New Jersey.
At the end of his speech, the governor said the state needs to reduce its rising pension and debt service costs.
"Here's the simple truth that everybody in this government knows," Christie said. "We cannot afford to do it."
He stressed the increase in the state's pension and debt service costs for fiscal year 2015 could approach $1 billion.
"That's nearly $1 billion that we can't spend on education, that we can't invest in infrastructure improvement," Christie said. "We have exciting choices to make but not the resources to do them, and if we continue in an era where we believe that we can choose everything, let me suggest to you that we're really choosing nothing."
Christie said for most of these issues, the time to act is now.
"If we do not choose to reduce our soaring pension costs and debt service costs, we will miss the opportunity to improve the lives of every New Jersey citizen," the governor said. "I'm ready to engage in those conversations and help, with you, to truly create in this state an honest attitude of choice."
The governor said he believed the result will be "a better, smarter, stronger New Jersey."
"Our destiny is not set, it is the product of the choices we make," Christie said. "Our future is not set, so let us act wisely."
Courtesy Governor's YouTube Page