Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dem legislators ignore Christie agenda

Even though the Republican governor had called 2011 the "year of education reform," the Legislature met yesterday for the last time in 2011 without so much as a vote on Christie's major education initiatives.

Dem legislators ignore Christie agenda

New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D., Gloucester), right, listens to fellow Senators Anthony R. Bucco (R., Morris) and Steven V. Oroho (R., Sussex) in Trenton on Thursday as legislators considered a flurry of bills on the final day of this session. (MEL EVANS/Associated Press)
New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D., Gloucester), right, listens to fellow Senators Anthony R. Bucco (R., Morris) and Steven V. Oroho (R., Sussex) in Trenton on Thursday as legislators considered a flurry of bills on the final day of this session. (MEL EVANS/Associated Press) MEL EVANS / Associated Press

As I spent much of the lame-duck legislative session changing diapers on paternity leave, the Legislature moved on dozens of bills -- but all but ignored the Christie agenda.

Even though the Republican governor had called 2011 the “year of education reform,” the Legislature met yesterday for the last time in 2011 without so much as a vote on Christie’s major education initiatives.

And even though the Republican governor had hit the town hall, press conference and speaking circuit riding Dems for sick-leave reform, Christie also failed to push that through. The gov doesn’t think public employees should be able to cash in for their unused sick pay; Democrats have sought to cap the take-away at $7,500.

Senate and Assembly Democrats pursued their own course yesterday, passing a range of legislation, as detailed in our story today, including a bill supported by Christie – after much controversy – that will send $69 million in state aid to Camden.

There is one other session on Jan. 9 before the new (but largely the same) Legislature convenes on Jan. 10. Some of this stuff could get done then.

But if not, don't cry for Christie. He'll still get to ask the town hall crowds two of his favorite questions: Do YOU get paid for sick days you don't use? Isn't NOT being sick reward in and of itself? That's a Christmas present that he will enjoy all year long.

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