Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Plan for opioid treatment — proof ‘Christie cannot be trusted?’

Subscribe to New Jersey 101.5 FM on

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto Tuesday blasted Gov. Chris Christie for some of the budget lapses that will be used to help cobble together an estimated $200 million more in funds for opioid-related programs.

Christie outlined the budget changes Monday on New Jersey 101.5’s “Ask the Governor.” Prieto specifically criticized the lapse of $6.5 million that had been added to the budget for Tuition Aid Grants and $5.6 million from what was added to expand preschool programs.

“This is further proof that Gov. Christie cannot be trusted,” Prieto said.

Christie agreed in July to sign the state budget without using his veto authority to delete line items Democratic lawmakers had added, as he has in past years. Those items cost around $325 million in total.

What’s in the ‘Democrat budget’ Christie signed — and why they’re mad anyway

Christie, who did use his line-item veto authority to delete language from the budget ensuring the preschool expansion funds would go only to districts with high concentrations of at-risk students, said the state received less than $20 million in bids for a portion of the $25 million that had been added for preschool.

“That’s funds the districts didn’t want, even when we put it out for the bidding for the schools that were eligible,” Christie said.

Christie also said there was $6.5 million left over from what had been appropriated for TAG grants, after grants were given out based on the eligibility criteria. That’s the total amount that Democrats had added to the budget for the program.

Prieto said Christie “promised to spend this money” and that it was his job to find creative ways to expand the programs.

“Gov. Christie is not a man of his word,” Prieto said.

“The opioid epidemic is a crisis that everyone supports confronting, but leaving at-risk children behind and making college less affordable should not be options,” he said. “Fortunately, New Jersey gets a new governor soon. Unfortunately, it’s not soon enough, but at the very least we should put to rest this much-hyped notion – by some – that Gov. Christie is a man of his word.”

Christie last month detailed 25 initiatives responding to the opioid addiction epidemic, costing between $160 million and $240 million.

He said Monday that the programs would be covered through $90 million in savings through refinancing state debt, $70 million from lapses and at least $40 million in extra revenue the state collected in the fiscal year that ended in July beyond what had been anticipated.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Subscribe to New Jersey 101.5 FM on


New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.


Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.