Everybody's waiting on the New Jersey Legislature.
To their credit, they spent the summer working with Gov. Christie to impose a credible 2 percent local property tax cap, a bipartisan reform with widespread public support. But as the governor said at the time, in order to give the cap teeth, action would need to be taken to curb the growth of government spending. That's why Gov. Christie introduced a 33-point "tool kit" to deal with the biggest drivers of local government spending.
Now we sit and wait for the legislature to act. They have 82 days to enact these reforms, in addition to the governor's recent pension reform proposal. And everyone in the state is telling them to get a move on. We at ATR have been urging them to act since July.
Roughly 40 of New Jersey's mayors showed up to the Capitol this morning to lobby the legislature, specifically Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, to act on the legislation. On the Senate side, to his credit, President Stephen Sweeney has scheduled a number of the toolkit provisions for a vote.
The League of Municipalities is getting in on the act as well. In an op-ed in the Times of Trenton, executive director William Dressel, Jr. argues that it is time for the legislature to "break the logjam" over the toolkit reforms, growing impatient that "inertia has set in" over two months after the property tax cap passed.
And of course taxpayers support these commonsense measures. The New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance has been pushing for adoption of the toolkit provisions since August.
The call for reform has reached a fever pitch. Speaker Oliver and President Sweeney will be viewed as across-the-aisle bipartisan dealbreakers should they shepherd these bills through the legislature and to the governor's desk. The legislature is suffering from a serious popularity deficit, while the governor's agenda is well-regarded by the voting public. It's time for the legislature to join him in the polls.
To see ATR's initial post and letter in support of the toolkit, click here.