Christie’s Budget Speech: What Happens Next?

Reactions to Governor Christie’s speech on the state budget deficit were predictable. Democrats acknowledge the dire fiscal situation we find ourselves in, but they are wary of the impact of parts of the Governor’s plan, particularly the impact on education. Republicans generally are echoing what their leader said — blaming previous Democratic Administrations, praising Christie for taking the actions he is taken, and at the same time making it clear that while budget cuts are needed, they will be painful.

That last part may be critical to Christie’s ability to successfully address New Jersey’s budget crisis. If GOP legislators start getting pressure from back home about funds for local schools and other items near and dear to their constituents, they may not be so willing to support the Administration’s plans hook, line and sinker. Given that Democrats hold the majority in both houses, that could make for tough sledding — even after the snow we have on the ground in New Jersey melts.

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