Governor Christie Is Hopeful That Lawmakers Will Get Busy [AUDIO]
With only a few weeks left in the 2011 Legislative session, Governor Christie is expressing optimism that lawmakers will pass several education reform measures, as well as a bill to end the practice of paying state workers huge sums of money for their unused sick days when they retire.
Speaking last night on Townsquare Media's Ask The Governor program, Christie said "I have no expectations about what's going to get done, but my hope is that we can get something done on tenure reform and something done on merit pay and something done on the opportunity scholarship act -that's what I hope- we'll see what happens...but if they (state lawmakers ) want to become like the republicans and democrats in Washington D.C. - who sit around and just yell and scream at each other and posture and get nothing done - I will call them out for that."
The Governor said he also wants the Legislature to pass a measure that ends the practice of paying public workers huge sums of money if they don't use their sick days.
"Why should you get paid for not being sick- it's insane" said Christie, "right now towns have accumulated 825 million dollars in indebtedness for these sick days...if you're not sick you should you should drop to your knees and thank god - for your good health - not put your hand out and look for a payout on your way out."
When asked whether he's made any progress with Senate President Sweeney or Assembly Speaker Oliver on these issues, the Governor said no, but he still expressed confidence that things will get rolling, pointing out over the past two years.
"I've produced results, I've produced budgets that have passed the democratic legislature, I've produced a cap on property taxes, a cap on interest arbitration, pension and benefit reform that nobody thought was going to get done...we should have political fights in public and let people know where we stand...and then if we find a boulevard that we can travel on to compromise, it's good for everybody...I don't expect I'm going to get everything I want, I will not violate my principals- sometimes that boulevard is wider, sometimes it's narrower- my job is to navigate the car on that boulevard."