Nancy Solomon, Managing Editor, New Jersey Public Radio
Nancy Solomon is the Managing Editor of New Jersey Public Radio.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for a 10 percent across-the-board cut in state income taxes in his State of the State address Tuesday in Trenton.
“In my budget, I will fulfill a promise I made to all the people of New Jersey in 2009,” Christie told the legislature. “ Real relief from the heavy income tax burden that has strangled our families and forced many to move away."
Christie also said he will propose restoring the earned income tax credit for New Jersey's working poor. He also called for the end of teacher tenure in public schools, and that when layoffs of teachers are necessary, that ineffective teachers lose their jobs first.
The governor also wants to pay teachers more who take jobs in failing schools, stream-line charter school approvals and allow children to attend private schools with public money.
He also said he’d like to see a Constitutional amendment that would keep anyone with a violent history from being released on bail while awaiting trial. In exchange for the tough crime measure, he said wants New Jersey to send drug offenders to mandatory treatment instead of jail.
Christie also took credit for 60,000 new private sector jobs in the state and called his pension reform a model for the rest of the country.
The Democratic leadership hailed Christie's proposal to restore the state's Earned Income Tax credit that benefits the state's working poor. They also welcomed his commitment to provide mandatory drug treatment and "second chance" for al of the state's non-violent drug offenders.
But State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the across-the-board income tax cut will make it harder to fund public schools, and Senate Speaker Sheila Oliver said the income tax was weighted too favor the wealthy.
With reporting from Bob Hennelly