Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) is attacking Gov. Chris Christie (R), a 2016 presidential candidate, for vetoing a bill that would’ve allocated $300 million towards the state’s pension system.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Gov. Christie’s failure to make the required pension payment has put the state deeper in the fiscal trouble, led to state credit rating downgrades and hurt New Jersey’s economy,” Prieto said in a statement this afternoon.
“We proposed a balanced budget that fully funded our obligations, and this prepayment was part of our effort to move the state’s economy in the right direction.”
The state Assembly budget panel passed the bill back in late June, with Prieto then noting that the $300 million would’ve been invested immediately, as opposed to the end of the 2016 fiscal year.
“The intent of this bill was to get that funding invested in the pension system as soon as possible. Doing so would have allowed for the earning of investment returns on the appropriated amount, but with this veto by Gov. Christie, all we have is yet another missed opportunity,” he added.
“Democrats remain committed to fiscal responsibility, and I will continue reviewing options to restore the health of the pension and benefits system. Gov. Christie needs to get on board and show some fiscal responsibility before we face even more credit downgrades and economic woes under his watch.”
A New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on June 9 gave Christie the legal right to slash the $1.57 billion in the state’s pension fund as he sees necessary.