Following yesterday’s State of the State address, Republican Assemblyman Jon Bramnick told NJTV News Anchor Harry Martin that the state budget is about the math and what needs to be cut — not about Republicans or Democrats.
Bramnick said that for years the pension fund has been underfunded and he thinks Gov. Chris Christie raised the idea of pension reform because it is an ongoing issue. He said that there have been fixes to the plan before but that does not mean the problem was completely solved.
“Contractually we have to pay most of those pensions but we are trying to fix the pension system long term,” Bramnick said.
“Christie said, ‘Let’s discuss the high debt and let’s discuss the revenue issues in conjunction with pension issues down the road,’ and I don’t see why the reaction to this has been outlandish. I’m not getting it,” Bramnick said.
He said officials need to look at what needs to be paid and where cuts can and cannot be made, which is a discussion for the legislature.
“You have to understand your issues and expenses and that’s how we got in that mess because the government said yes to everybody. We have to discuss the future of the pension system,” Bramnick said.
As for the George Washington Bridge lane closure investigation, Bramnick said, “The governor and all my members agree that we have to get to the bottom of the emails. Some were outrageous. I think at this point John Wisniewski has done a pretty good job and we are on board to continue this, with the understanding that we stay within the scope of the authorizations.”
Bramnick said that he thinks the investigation will continue until the headlines stop.
“I am always shocked about what goes on in New Jersey,” said Bramnick.