Last night, the big guy won a big victory in Trenton. Public worker unions in New Jersey — teachers, cops, firefighters — will no longer be able to collectively bargain their health benefits. Christie says the legislation will save the state’s underfunded pension system and save taxpayers $3.1 billion over the next 10 years. The legislation passed the state assembly 46-32, with most Baristaville assembly representatives voting against it. Assembly speaker Sheila Oliver, who represents the 34th district, did vote in favor.
Separately, in a blow to Montclair’s Steve Adubato Jr., the legislature voted down Christie’s plan to turn over the state’s broadcast network, NJN, to WNET in New York. Under the proposed deal, Adubato’s Montclair-based Caucus Educational Corp., was to provide public affairs programming. Adubato and WNET had won out over various rivals, including Montclair State University, which had put in a bid. But mainly critics cried foul, claiming that Adubato was getting the contract as political payback for his father’s support of Christie. Adubato Sr. is a powerful Newark Democrat.
That’s a lot of political in one night and there’s more fun ahead. Trenton Democrats are proposing a millionaire’s tax that would fatten the state’s coffers — and, among other things, send money to non-Abbott school districts.