The 82nd edition of the Walk to Washington, aka the Chamber Train, kicked off yesterday as insiders — politicians, business people, lobbyists and activists — took a packed train to the capital, organized by the NJ Chamber of Commerce.
The annual jaunt from Newark to Washington D.C. — that this year took place on 14 Amtrak cars — is a reliable barometer of what political decision makers are thinking and talking about. And, said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, “People are obviously talking about the budget.”
Tellingly, Coughlin added, “I’m going to insist on no broad-based taxes — no income, no sales — but we’ll see what the governor has. I’m hopeful that we’re going to have a smooth sail, but I’m an optimist.”
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said the budget gets tougher to pass every year. “It’s getting tougher and tougher just because our general fund does not have the flexibility that it used to have,” she said.
From the Governor’s Office, chief of staff George Helmy, whose presence on the train drew a lot of attention, said, “I think it’s going to be a budget that we’re incredibly proud of, and we’ll continue investments in the middle class and driving young families to come to New Jersey.”
on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.