New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday announced reform measures that would change the state’s ethics laws, pension and benefit packages, economic development initiatives, and education system.
The Republican governor presented a broad outline of his reform goals during a town hall meeting in Wayne Township in northeastern New Jersey.
The administration plans to release details of the reform measures today.
Christie yesterday called for the Legislature to work on his proposals before the end of the year.
Changes include increasing financial disclosure requirements for elected officials, limiting public officials to one salaried position, and prohibiting elected officials from holding more than one job.
Christie yesterday said he will seek pension changes for current employees and not just new employees.
In addition, a portion of teachers’ salaries should be based on performance, he said.
“When I became governor, I made a promise to the people of New Jersey that I would use every power and authority of this office and every ounce of my energy to make their lives better, bring accountability and responsibility to their government, and give them hope for a better future in our state,” Christie said in a statement. “We have made great progress since January, but we can and must go further to fix our state.”
Earlier this year, Christie signed into law measures to add transparency to government operations and pension reform initiatives that require public employees to contribute to their health care benefits.
The Garden State has $29.97 billion of outstanding debt, including $2.59 billion of general obligation debt.
Its unfunded pension liability is $46 billion and it has a $56 billion unfunded liability for other post-employment benefits, largely retiree health care.
Christie’s announcement comes on the same day that the Assembly Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the state’s failed Race to the Top application. An error made by New Jersey’s Department of Education cost the state $400 million in federal funds.