“The State of the State is good—having boldly dealt with so many of the long-term problems we inherited in 2010, having an economy which continues to grow and now ready to use 2017 to confront problems that still need solving. I stand here today prepared to give every ounce of energy I have to make 2017 a year where we solve more big problems for our citizens.”
“Let me be clear to every New Jerseyan both in this chamber and in all of our 21 counties. Drug addiction is a disease. It is not a moral failing. It is a disease that can be treated. By treating the disease with the methods we know and treating its victims with understanding and compassion, we have a chance to save lives. And each of those lives are an individual gift from God. There can be no calling more clear, no matter your faith, than the calling to save lives.
“We have taken some admirable steps. We have made some progress. But it is clearly not enough. I can tell by reading the growing statistics. I can see it by watching the growing costs to our budgets. I can feel it by looking into the eyes of too many loved ones who have lost someone so close and so dear that you can see their hearts actually breaking.
“Beyond the human cost, which is incalculable, there is a real cost to every part of life in New Jersey.”
“This is the Christie plan to attack the epidemic of drug addiction in our state. I am ready to work with and listen to anyone with more ideas on how to address this issue. I am willing to accept ideas from any corner of this state, from any political party, from any level of government.
“What I am absolutely unwilling to accept is inaction. I will not have the blood of addicted New Jerseyans on my hands by waiting to act. I will not willingly watch another 1,600 of our citizens die and watch their families mourn and suffer. We cannot waste another minute of our time in leadership on the next partisan-fueled fake scandal. While our friends are dying, we cannot permit the worst partisans in this town to lead the discussion towards politically motivated, media sensationalized nonsense. If we don’t reject this conduct by the loudest few, we will be paralyzed these self-interested actors who care more about the attack of the day than about truly solving problems affecting New Jersey families.
“Our fellow citizens who are facing the disease of addiction do not deserve to be stigmatized. They do not deserve to be locked up in jail purely due to their disease. They do not deserve to be living on the street. They do not deserve to be going without necessary treatment or medication because they slipped through the cracks of our complex and confusing health care system. They do not deserve a life without hope. They do not deserve this fate. They are our husbands and wives. They are our brothers and sisters. They are our sons and daughters. We have the capacity to give them the tools they need to recover and we cannot fail to do so.”
“President Kennedy defined in his inaugural address nearly 56 years ago what public service and elective office should be all about. He said, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
“That is what public service is for me and what I will dedicate my final year as Governor to for all of New Jersey’s families. Nothing could personify God’s work here on earth more than saving lives—each and every life we can save.
“That mission is my mission over the next 373 days as Governor. I hope you will join me in this mission.
“God bless you. God bless America. And God bless the great state of New Jersey."