Muni Minute: Christie's Final Budget Pitch

In the latest installment of Muni Minute, we look at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s final budget address set for Tuesday and how his fiscal plan may address the state’s weak credit conditions.

VOICE OVER: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives his final budget address Tuesday as the state grapples with increased pension burdens and revenue volatility. The Garden State has received 10 credit downgrades since Christie first took office in January 2010 and has the second lowest credit rating of the 50 US states. The term-limited Republican governor has said the 2018 fiscal budget will include a full scheduled pension payment.

But S&P said in a one-notch downgrade of New Jersey in November that reforms will be needed to accommodate pension funding increases due to the state's lack of reserves and high fixed costs. New Jersey debt is rated A-minus by S&P, A2 by Moody's and A by Fitch and Kroll. In addition to rising pension demands, Moody's noted in a report last October that a sales tax cut under a plan to replenish New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund, will strain the state's operating budget. New Jersey's new fiscal year starts on July first. Christie's eight-years run as governor expires December 31st.

I'm Andrew Coen and this is BB Muni Minute.