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What do you think of Gov. Chris Christie's budget priorities?

The governor's 2015 budget seems to be all about the status quo. How do you think the numbers add up?

Gov. Chris Christie this week unveiled his 2015 budget, a record $34.4 billion package that is, for all its size, not particularly long on surprises -- though it does raise its share of doubts and uncertainties. It is, essentially, a status quo budget that doesn't differ much from this year's spending plan. The big news is that the governor will make the mandated $2.25 billion payment to the public employee pension funds.

Christie advocates modest increases in some business taxes but casts them as closing tax loopholes. There’s no tax cut proposed but there’s no across-the board-tax increase that will impact individuals. Other than that, there are small boosts for education and Medicaid, and not much in the cupboard for transportation infrastructure. There’s a big projected hole in the 2014 budget, but the administration says it will be able to close it with “lapses” -- meaning unspent funds -- in unnamed accounts. So before hearings begin in order for the legislature to dive into the details, we’re asking you . . .

What do you think of Christie's budget priorities?

  • We need bolder action. Christie made a deal with the devil when it comes to that pension obligation. New Jersey just can’t afford it. We need a tax cut and an investment in economic development. I'm a lot more worried about the state of our state than I am about whether public unions get their pensions.

  • The governor's priorities are right on the money (so to speak). Keeping taxes stable, government running, and modest investments are the most important things for New Jersey now.

  • Christie's hands are tied. There's only so much he can do given what he has to work with. We're burdened by a huge debt service that's been several decades in the making. It would be great if the governor can make a dent in it, but no one wants to see more taxes. At least we’re moving in the right direction.

  • Christie is out of sync with New Jersey. We want to maintain our highly regarded school system, ensure our air and water are clean, improve our crumbling infrastructure, and take care of our neediest. A real leader would come up with solutions to avoid sacrificing those convictions.

  • The state budget is a complicated matter, and I just don’t follow all the fine points. No one wants to pay high taxes but everyone wants a state with a great quality of life. I’ll judge Christie’s priorities based on whether things improve in the Garden State.

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