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Christie Holds First Cabinet Meeting Since Reelection

11-12-13

By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent

Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon held his first cabinet meeting since winning reelection last week. His press secretary Michael Drewniak says the governor is still charting out his agenda for the next year. A point Christie alluded to this morning during a visit to the County College of Morris.

“I’m still getting used to the idea that I have this job for another four years, but I have lots of plans and lots of ideas about what to do with these next four years,” said Christie.

The governor didn’t take questions today but Sunday in one of his four network talk show appearances, he was asked about the next 12 months.

“Well, in the year ahead we want to lower taxes in New Jersey, income taxes in New Jersey. I’d like to continue education reform by greater expansion of charter schools, getting school choice for parents so that in failing schools in New Jersey and there’s 200 failing schools in New Jersey that those parents can get a voucher to send their child to a private school. we want to continue among those paths and also continue to grow private sector jobs and our economy,” said Christie.

The County College of Morris is getting $10 million from the state for a new music technology building and engineering labs. The money is from last year’s higher ed bond issue, which Christie sees as part of his legacy.

“It had been 25 years since the state of NJ had invested any capital funds in any of our state colleges and universities. Just outrageous failure by both parties,” said Christie.

He worked it into his new brand—the bi-partisan pragmatist.

“That’s why I was so happy to work with the Legislature, both parties,” said Christie.

And there was a little swipe at the Rand Paul libertarian wing of his party.

“There will be some who will argue that this isn’t government’s role. I disagree. I Think if what you want to do is spur growth in the private sector, the government has to be a part of it,” said Christie.

Someone in the audience wanted him to support the DREAM Act, in-state tuition for undocumented aliens. His spokesman Drewniak said, he’ll react after state Democrats give him something to sign.

A Republican assemblywoman had her own wish.

“I’m a big supporter of full-day kindergarten, so I hope he looks at that and pre-school, but over all education reform has to take place,” said Betty Lou DeCroce.

We told the Assemblywoman that On Face the Nation the governor seemed to have different education priorities.

“We’ll look at those areas and work with the governor but it can’t just be charter schools and vouchers. We have to look across the board, and I believe he will do that,” said Decroce.

The year ahead also means more travel for Christie as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, starting next week.