Sweeping, Bipartisan Tenure Reform Unanimously Approved By The Legislature And Sent To Governor Christie: Governor Christie and legislative leaders have worked to negotiate sweeping reform to the nation’s oldest teacher tenure law. By measuring teacher effectiveness and then giving tenure to those with strong evaluations, and taking it away from those whose ratings are unacceptably weak, New Jersey is working to deliver on the promise of a quality education for every child in New Jersey.
Reorganizing Higher Education Institutions:
An Overdue Reorganization of Higher Education in New Jersey: Governor Christie and bipartisan leaders have come together to craft a commonsense and long-overdue proposal to reorganize and strengthen New Jersey’s higher education system. This reform – decades in the making, but never previously accomplished – will promote long-term, sustainable economic growth and high academic achievement by creating three hubs of higher education excellence in the north, central, and southern parts of the state.
Expanded Drug Court:
Expanding The Drug Court Program For Non-Violent Drug Offenders: Governor Christie firmly believes that no life is disposable and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget provides $2.5 million for an expansion of the drug court program for non-violent drug offenders, because everyone deserves a second chance.
Pension Benefits Reform:
Governor Christie Signed Landmark Bipartisan Pension and Health Benefit Reform Legislation: Governor Chris Christie signed into law landmark pension and health benefit reform in June 2011, marking months of hard work, negotiation, compromise and ultimately bipartisan support. The fundamental reforms shake up New Jersey’s out-of-date, antiquated and increasingly expensive pension and health benefit systems and bring to an end years of broken promises and fiscal mismanagement by securing the long-term solvency of the pension and benefit systems. At the same time, critical savings for state and local governments are achieved – pension reform alone will provide savings to New Jersey taxpayers of over $120 billion over the next 30 years, and an additional $3.1 billion over the next 10 years from health benefits reform.
“After months of serious discussions, we are pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on legislation to reform our public pension and health benefits systems in New Jersey. …We all fully support this legislation and will work together to assure its passage by both houses of the Legislature and enactment into law….” ( “Statement from Governor Chris Christie and the Legislative Leadership,” Press Release, 6/15/11)
“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pulled off something of a miracle this week -- pushing through a package of pension and benefits cuts for government employees that will save the state $130 billion over the next 30 years. And he did it as the Republican governor of a blue state where Democrats run the House and Senate -- and where unions have long run the Dems. The changes are remarkable.” (Editorial, “Christie wins again,” New York Post, 6/25/11)
“Compromise. Tackling A Critical Issue…The Deal Saves Money. Billions. And We Applaud It” (Editorial, “Benefits deal puts state on the right track,” Star-Ledger, 6/17/11)
Ensured Lasting Property Tax Relief with 2% Cap: In July 2010, Governor Christie signed into law a 2% hard cap on property taxes, marking the first significant step toward bringing lasting property tax reform to New Jersey.
“Whether you're leaders in the Senate like Sweeney or the Governor, everybody knows that. It's about how to figure out a path to get there and where Chris Christie is standing up and saying the right things, I'm going to stand with him.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 6/28/10)
“Certainly, the governor and the Senate president deserve credit for showing that all is not lost in terms of their ability to play well together.” (Editorial, “Big cheeses in accord on cap,” Gloucester County Times, 7/7/10)
Signed Critical Tool Kit Measure for Local Governments with Interest Arbitration Reform: Working together with Senate and Assembly Leadership, Governor Christie signed into law transformational, long-overdue interest arbitration reform that provides municipalities with the help they need to keep property taxes down for New Jerseyans.
“This legislation is exactly what New Jersey has needed…” (“Greenwald & Quigley Bill Revising Arbitration System to Bring Long-Term Property Tax Reform Advanced By Assembly Panel,” Press Release, 12/9/10)
Atlantic City Revitalization:
Set Stage For Atlantic City’s Economic Revitalization: Governor Chris Christie signed into law sweeping legislation to enact his reform plans to revitalize the ailing gaming and tourism industries in Atlantic City, and set the region on a new course for economic growth, job creation and prosperity.
“A year ago today, Gov. Chris Christie stood on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and announced his plan to remake the resort - and to put the state in charge of a new Tourism District. So how's it going? Remarkably well, especially considering that the new law creating the Tourism District and putting the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in charge of it was not approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor until Feb. 1. …We were wary of the governor's plan. It was big, bold and all-inclusive. It can't work, we said to ourselves. Atlantic City is often where grand dreams die. But it is working. (Editorial, “Atlantic City One Year Later / Making Progress,” Press of Atlantic City, 7/21/11)
On Barnegat Bay And The Environment:
Accelerated Work To Improve New Jersey’s Environment And Expand Green Technologies: In December 2010, Governor Christie unveiled a comprehensive plan of action to address the short and long term ecological health of Barnegat Bay and to deal with the cooling system at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant which has threatened the surrounding fish population. By January 2011, he signed legislation that targeted nutrient runoff from lawn and landscape fertilizers, soil restoration, and storm water basin repairs.