Working Families Given No Reason to Celebrate the State of their State

Gov. Chris Christie delivered his sixth State of the State address on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Despite his attempt to paint a glossy portrait of the state under his leadership, working families and many of our communities continue to struggle under the weight of policies that benefit his wealthy friends but hurt the middle-class. New Jersey tops the nation in out-migration and the state is one of three where poverty is going up. Since 2009, the year Christie was elected, 196,000 more New Jerseyans are living in deep poverty.

Charles Wowkanech, president of the one million member New Jersey State AFL-CIO, released the following statement on the governor’s State of the State address:

“This governor’s legacy includes eight credit rating downgrades, more than any other governor in state history, which means residents are paying higher taxes because the state is being charged higher interest rates on its loans; four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos closed in the past year, putting 8,000 people out of work; no plan to rebuild the infrastructure so vital to our region’s economy; and a dismal 49th place ranking in job growth, behind our neighboring states.”

“Last year, the governor touted reforms that were meant to shore up an indebted pension system. Now, he refuses to obey the law he signed by making $2.4 billion in required payments into the funds.”

“In sum, Christie has given New Jersey’s working families no reason to celebrate the State of their State.”

“The governor can begin creating jobs immediately with the stroke of his pen,” Wowkanech added. “By signing ‘Buy American’ bills, he would level the playing field for American manufacturers bidding against foreign competitors for public contracts, and by scrapping the idea of privatizing PATH service, he would keep a host of transportation and railroad workers from losing their jobs.”

“We need the governor to provide a plan for funding our Transportation Trust Fund, educating our children and creating good-paying jobs. We need a plan for empowering our communities, rebuilding our state and making our working families proud once again to call New Jersey home.”

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