While Congress Whines, Chris Christie Hasn't Let A Democratic Legislature Be An Excuse For Getting Things Done ___________________________________
“You’ve just got to work with people. I have a Democratic legislature in New Jersey. For every Minute I have been governor, I have had a Democratic legislature. That's not an excuse for not doing your job. You have to get to know these folks and find compromise. Compromise isn't capitulation, it's compromise.”
Historic Bipartisan Changes To The Nation’s Oldest Tenure Law: Marking the first extensive reform of New Jersey’s tenure law in over 100 years, Governor Christie signed into law the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act, a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul of the oldest tenure law in the nation.
Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex): “It was about what I thought was right and what we know, that the teacher has the greatest impact on our children and what happens in the classroom.”(John Mooney, “Compromise, Caffeine, and Trade-Offs: Behind NJ's New Tenure Reform Bill,” NJ Spotlight, 8/7/12)
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Bergen): “[This] landmark achievement of bipartisanship was made possible in large part by Gov. Christie’s fierce leadership and sponsor Senator Ruiz helping to propel students’ needs in front of special political interests." (Jarrett Renshaw, “Gov. Christie hails signing of tenure reform bill as 'a great day for good teachers’,” The Star-Ledger, 8/7/12)
Sweeping Pension And Benefits Reform: Governor Christie signed into law landmark pension and health benefit reform in June 2011, marking months of hard work, negotiation, compromise and ultimately bipartisan support. While Governor Christie made clear that more work was needed, critical savings were achieved – over $120 billion in savings for New Jersey taxpayers.
Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D), Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R) and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R): “After months of serious discussions, we are pleased to announce that we have reached agreement on legislation to reform our public pension and health benefits systems in New Jersey. …We all fully support this legislation and will work together to assure its passage by both houses of the Legislature and enactment into law….”(“Statement from Governor Chris Christie and the Legislative Leadership,” Press Release, 6/15/11)
New Jersey State League of Municipalities: “The League applauds the bipartisan efforts of those who can craft such legislation which would accomplish this while protecting our current retirees and grandfathering those eligible for retirement by not breaking our commitment to them. The League commends Speaker Sheila Oliver, Senate President Sweeney and Governor Chris Christie for their leadership championing these bipartisan reforms while achieving an important balance for all the major stakeholders.” (New Jersey State League of Municipalities, “League Supports Progress on Pension and Health Reform,” Press Release, 6/20/11)
Ensured Lasting Property Tax Relief with 2% Cap: In July 2010, Governor Christie signed into law a 2% hard cap on property taxes, marking the first significant step toward bringing lasting property tax reform to New Jersey.
Then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D): “Whether you're leaders in the Senate like Sweeney or the Governor, everybody knows that. It's about how to figure out a path to get there and where Chris Christie is standing up and saying the right things, I'm going to stand with him.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 6/28/10)
Combating Drug Abuse And Addiction: Governor Christie signed into law landmark, bipartisan legislation to help individuals with drug addiction reclaim their lives with treatment, rather than warehousing them in prison.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D): “By expanding on the success of the voluntary drug court program and reaching even more people through mandatory treatment in their sentencing, we can save taxpayer dollars and, more importantly, help these individuals get their lives back.” (“Governor Chris Christie Follows Through on Commitment to Reclaim Lives with Landmark, Bipartisan Mandatory Drug Court Law,” Press Release, 7/19/12)
Senator Raymond Lesniak (D): “This law expands access to the life-saving, cost-saving and crime-preventing opportunities provided by our drug courts to thousands of criminal offenders struggling with drug addiction.” (Senate Democrats, “Lesniak-Scutari Drug Court Bill Signed Into Law,” Press Release, 7/19/12)
Common-Sense Bail Reform To Keep Violent Offenders Off The Streets: In 2014, Governor Christie signed bipartisan reforms to New Jersey’s bail system to keep dangerous individuals off the streets. These reforms are not just safer, bur fairer as well. They allow people charged with the most serious violent crimes to be held without bail while also allowing those who commit minor, nonviolent offenses to have nonmonetary bail options.
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D): “Violent criminals, they’ll be held so they don’t go out and commit another crime, homicide, things that are really violent. This is long overdue. It just makes common sense to reform our bail system.” (Kevin McArdle, “NJ voters to weigh-in on bail reform in November,” NJ101.5, 8/4/14)
Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson (D): “Mayor Jackson believes that the system needs to be reformed, and he applauds Gov. Christie for calling for it,” said Michael Walker, spokesman for the mayor’s administration.” (David Foster, “Baby in oven threat during Trenton home invasion highlighted in Gov. Christie's push for bail reform,” Trentonian, 7/30/14