As New Jerseyans and lawmakers prepare to hear from Governor Christie on the State of the State, NJToday’s Mike Schneider sat down with Ben Dworkin, Director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, to discuss the upcoming speech, the new legislative session, and the issues over which Democrats and Republicans will be battling.
According to Dworkin, this year’s State of the State Address takes on a sense of urgency because of the looming gubernatorial 2013 election that will overshadow everything in Trenton. In essence, Governor Christie has from now until June 30, when the budget process ends, to accomplish his goals, says Dworkin.
Dworkin says the State of the State address and the Budget Address to come in a month will be the two-part punch Governor Christie will use to define his goals and lay out his agenda.
Although Christie has been vocal in his opposition to sick payouts and is pushing for education reform, Dworkin says the Governor’s office has been eerily quiet as we head into the State of the State address.
Democrats have come out front on the issue of same-sex marriage, despite the Governor’s opposition and the fact that they could not get enough votes from their own caucus two years ago when the gay marriage bill was introduced. The potential showdown between the Democrats and the Governor will put everyone on record as to where they stand on this issue, says Dworkin.