POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Critics Speak Ahead of State of the State Address

Before Gov. Chris Christie delivered his seventh State of the State address, critics of the governor held a press conference they called “The Real State of Our State” where they talked about the future of health care, the economy and education. Here is a sampling of what they had to say.

Dena Mottola Jaborska, New Jersey Citizen Action Associate Director: I don’t think Gov. Christie could have a State of the State speech today without addressing what is going to happen to our health care and whether he is going to stand up and stop the attack on health care for millions of people in our state. I know he’s going to be talking about addiction, and quite frankly I don’t know how he can talk about addiction and treatment for people with addiction without talking about health care coverage. We need health care coverage to get people treated who are addicted to alcohol and drugs and we need health care coverage to make sure that people are prevented from becoming addicted. And people who have been through addiction need health care services that don’t even relate necessarily directly to their addiction so we cannot, we hope that we won’t hear a speech today about how wonderful a program he has to help people with addiction without hearing about health care coverage and what is he going to do to protect our health care coverage.

Gordon MacInnes, NJ Policy Perspective President: The most important one long term is likely to be the steady erosion in the credit rating of the state because that will have an impact for 30 years going forward and taxpayers 10, 15, 20 years ago are going to be hit by higher bills in the hundreds of millions of dollars because our borrowing is so badly rated by the credit agencies. Therefore we pay higher interest rates and the consequences land with the taxpayer every time.

Wendell Steinhauer, NJEA President: New Jersey’s educators are contributing more and more to their pensions and health benefits while the governor continues to ignore the law — a law that he signed and celebrated that requires the state to do the same thing. Public education remains our state’s most valuable asset, yet the governor continues to undermine our public schools by expanding the presence and reducing the accountability of charter schools.

Joe Karcz, Sandy Victim: 262,000 people left New Jersey last year for a reason. And honestly myself, I was born and bred in New Jersey. I love New Jersey, but I’ve looked at three properties in Pennsylvania already because I’ve had enough of the corruption, the bureaucracy, the mismanagement and the utter, just, basic lies.