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 . . .