Speaker Prieto this afternoon blasted Governor Christie for what Prieto says are “cruel” line item-vetoes in the budget, including the removal language requiring preschool expansion money be spent in high-risk districts, food assistance, eliminating the Work First NJ family cap, and cutting language to improve the timeliness of processing paid leave claims.
He said the vetoes provide “yet another glimpse at Gov. Christie’s bad character – and why he should have never been trusted.”
Alluding to the public firestorm that came swiftly after Star-Ledger photos showed a beach-bummed Christie at Island State Park during the shutdown, Prieto said, “Gov. Christie has broken his word yet again, and no one should be surprised. Anyone who contends Gov. Christie is an honest man has spent too much time sitting in the sun with him or in traffic on the George Washington Bridge.”
The Governor’s office responded: “The Governor kept his word. He agreed to 73 specific budget requests made by Democrat legislators and he noted at the press conference late Monday night that he was maintaining his promise to keep those in the budget that he was about to sign. They are all in the signed budget. The Governor never agreed to sign an unbalanced budget by preserving every additional spending request sneakily tucked into the budget and not paid for by revenue. Speaker Prieto’s statement is false and all the honest parties to our agreement know it.”