'Tis the season of new year resolutions, and with an especially large wave of new governors washing into statehouses this month, we'll be hearing a storm of promises. Cuomo did it last week in New York, and the governors of Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming will all be presenting State of the State speeches this week.
In New Jersey's quirky system, outgoing governor Jon Corzine had the pleasure of presenting the State of the State address last year, a week before he relinquished office. So this means Tuesday will be Chris Christie's first official presentation of the state of his state—though of course he's been speechifying aplenty during his first year as governor.
In his last major address, a melancholy Corzine urged the incoming leadership to tackle "too damn high" property taxes and revolutionize the way local services are delivered, all while dealing with a staggering debt problem. Other than that, Corzine pretty much used the opportunity to list his accomplishments as governor, touching on education and health care victories.
With Christie, we can expect more of his horse-pill medicine: fiscal discipline, spending cuts matching tax cuts, talk about charter schools and alternatives to public education, and the horrors of extravagant public worker pensions and benefits.
Come back to It's A Free Country for analysis of the speech. In the meantime, if you live in New Jersey, or any other state blessed with a State of the State address this week, give us a diagnosis of your state's health.