NJ Dems stunned by omissions in Christie’s State of the State
In his State of the State message Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie talked about expanding drug treatment programs, spurring the economy, creating jobs, cutting certain taxes and more. Immediately after the address Democratic leaders told the media that some of the things the governor mentioned were good, but they were not happy with the many things he left out of the speech.
“This state has a lot of issues that, again we were hoping would be addressed, priorities like the TTF (Transportation Trust Fund),” said State Sen. President Steve Sweeney. “Nothing on the TTF at all, like it doesn’t exist.”
The TTF is the fund that the state uses to pay for bridge, tunnel and road projects. It is expected to run out of money at the end of the Fiscal Year, which is June 30, 2016.
“His State of the State wasn’t about this state. He didn’t talk about the fact that the TTF is broken,” stated State Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck).
Sweeney, Weinberg and their counterparts in the Assembly also lamented the fact that Christie didn’t talk about how he would fund pensions and didn’t explain how he would pay for the expansive and expensive drug treatment programs he proposed, but their major bone of contention was the TTF omission.
“He didn’t talk about the crisis that we have with the TTF (and) how we’re going to fund that. It’s very disappointing because that is priority number-one. That should have been a big component of the speech. We wanted to hear if he has some ideas and some plans,” said Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus).
Christie also took a shot at President Barack Obama in advance of tonight's State of the Union Address. He said Obama has failed the country and his speech would be a fantasy wish list. Weinberg called that, “the low point of the speech.” Sweeney said he also took offense at the remark.
Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.