Christie Lays Out $32.9 Billion State Budget Plan
If Governor Chris Christie gets his way, New Jersey will spend less money next Fiscal Year than it did in 2008. Relying on a modest 5-percent growth in the economy, Christie hopes to fund education at an all-time high level. He is also planning to expand Medicaid to allow the federal government to pick up $227 million in costs.
“After considerable discussion and research, we have decided to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act,” says Christie. “While we already have one of the most expansive and generous Medicaid programs in the nation, including the second highest eligibility rate for children, we have an opportunity to ensure that an even greater number of New Jerseyans who are at or near the poverty line will have access to critical health services beginning in January 2014.”
For a single adult, 133% of the poverty level is under $16,000 a year. Federal funding will cover 100% of the costs of this expansion for the first three years and then leveling to 90% in 2020.
“Let me be clear, I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act,” explains the Governor. “I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America. I fought against it and believe, in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises. However, it is now the law of the land. I will make all my judgments as Governor based on what is best for New Jerseyans. That is why I twice vetoed saddling our taxpayers with the untold burden of establishing health exchanges.”
Although he didn’t mention it in his address, Christie is also proposing putting off the mailing of property tax rebates until August. They were to go out in May.