New Jersey’s Gov. Taking on Unions

Barbara Hollingsworth of the Washington Examiner has a piece celebrating the efforts of New Jersey’s new Governor Chris Christie in his effort to take on the state’s over indulged public employees unions.

Christie has taken on one of the worst budgets in the country and the task ahead of him will be difficult in every way imaginable. Unfortunately, the former Governor, John Corzine, made matters worse by negotiating a deal that will prevent Christie from furloughing state workers until 2011.

But Christie is forging ahead making the cuts he can.

Already Christie has cut 375 of 378 state programs. One of his most controversial proposals is a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in state education funding affecting 500 school districts; 100 will lose all state aid for the remainder of the year. But Christie says he used a “scalpel,” and none of the cuts exceed each district’s reserves.

Naturally, the teachers unions are going crazy over these needed cuts.

Predictably enough, the 200,000-member New Jersey Education Association attacked Christie’s “doomsday budget” as hundreds protested in his home town. The Communications Workers of America warned that it would challenge any efforts to override their negotiated pay and benefits packages in court.

But the state is $46 billion short in its pension responsibilities and the unions still expect a 3.5 percent pay increase!

Chris Christie has a long-hard slough ahead of him with these spendthrift unions nipping at his heels the whole way.

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