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Opinion

Christie can cut billions more from N.J. budget if he really believes in limited government

Christie can cut billions more from N.J. budget if he really believes in limited government
BY MURRAY SABRIN
COMMENTARY

Governor Christie's first budget was passed by the Legislature before the June 30th deadline, but not before three Republican holdouts, Michael Doherty in the Senate and Allison Littell McHose and Michael Patrick Carroll in the Assembly vowed not to vote for the $29.4 billion budget and the supplemental bills containing tax hikes.

After the last minute give-and-take, the three most fiscal conservative members of the Legislature "held their noses" and signed on. The Governor signed the budget bill at a ceremony in South River, reiterating that the state needs a constitutional amendment that would cap annual property tax hikes at 2.5%.

Governor Christie's property tax cap allows residents to override the 2.5% cap. What is the point of a cap then? Self government means that voters should be able to determine how much they want to spend on municipal services and schools. Local officials are supposed to be held accountable to voters who "hire" them at every election. If the officials are not good stewards of the public's money, they should be fired by the voters when they seek another term in office.

 

N.J. civil service rules make a streamlined government almost impossible to achieve

N.J. civil service rules make a streamlined government almost impossible to achieve
BY WILLIAM G. DRESSEL, JR.
COMMENTARY

"We the people" can amend our Constitution — our basic framework of civil rights and self-government — but we cannot rescind a personnel policy decision made decade...

Legal costs are an issue for N.J. school budgets

Legal costs are an issue for N.J. school budgets
BY MARCUS RAYNER
COMMENTARY

In recent months, school funding has been hotly debated by many sides. And the most infamous school litigation of the past two decades, Abbott vs. Burke, is routinely invoked...

Gutting N.J. civil service rights would open state to ravages of patronage and corruption

Gutting N.J. civil service rights would open state to ravages of patronage and corruption
BY EVELYN LIEBMAN
COMMENTARY

Imagine if every time a newly elected mayor, county executive or governor was elected, he or she could snap their fingers, get rid of all of the people providing public serv...

Ingrid Reed: Public deserves praise for involvement in New Jersey’s budget discussion

Ingrid Reed: Public deserves praise for involvement in New Jersey’s budget discussion
BY INGRID REED
COMMENTARY

I doubt that there will be more than a few gatherings around the pool and or by the grill where friends and neighbors will be speculating if we really will have a state budget ...

Why is the N.J. DEP supporting the interests of polluters over oyster restoration?

Why is the N.J. DEP supporting the interests of polluters over oyster restoration?
BY ANDREW WILLNER
COMMENTARY

The recent pronouncement by Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, that may end more than a decade's worth of oyster research, restora...

Forget Christie’s cap, we need to reduce N.J. property taxes

Forget Christie’s cap, we need to reduce N.J. property taxes
BY REED GUSCIORA
COMMENTARY

After slashing aid to municipalities by $445 million, Gov. Chris Christie has offered them "tool kits" to cushion the blow of expected property-tax increases. A "tool kit," h...

We could see unions and corporations dominate campaigns because of Citizens United case

We could see unions and corporations dominate campaigns because of Citizens United case
BY JEFF BRINDLE
COMMENTARY

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could give independent political groups even greater power over campaigns by enabling them to bury candidates in advertising blitzes they ca...

Christie’s legacy tied to his 2.5 percent cap

Christie’s legacy tied to his 2.5 percent cap
BY JOSH McMAHON
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY

Within the next couple of weeks we will know whether Chris Christie's legacy will be that of a governor who caused seismological changes in New Jersey's g...

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