TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Chris Christie will lay out the agenda for his final year in office when he delivers his state of the state address to New Jersey lawmakers on Tuesday.
It will be Christie’s seventh annual address to New Jersey residents and the Democrat-controlled Legislature. The speech comes at a time when it appears increasingly clear that Christie won’t be leaving New Jersey for a role in the Republican administration of President-elect Donald Trump.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 5 Police Officers Among 7 Injured In Suspected Gas Explosion At Bronx Home
The Republican governor, who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign, has said he always planned to serve out his full term, which ends in 2018.
The speech also comes as the race to succeed the governor is getting underway, and as Christie’s job approval ratings have hit record lows.
Despite historically low approval ratings and the fact that he’s in his final year as governor, Ben Dworkin of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University says it doesn’t make Christie any less relevant.
“Our state’s governor is constitutionally the most powerful governor in the entire country,” he told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron.READ MORE: As NYC, Teachers Union Discuss Remote Option, Mayor Adams Reiterates 'Our Schools Are Going To Remain Open'
Christie has said he has more room to maneuver politically because he’s term-limited and could lay out some initiatives in the address.
Dworkin says this will be Christie’s chance to create an agenda to try to get something done in his last year, but it’s not time for new topics.
“How we fund our public schools and they way we distribute state aide,” he said. “I think he’ll talk again about pension and health benefit reform for state workers.”
Since he returned to New Jersey from the campaign trail, Christie has focused on several issues, including school funding, drug addiction and treatment and economic development, particularly in Trenton.
Over the past year, the governor has also signed legislation to establish a $2 billion-per-year transportation trust fund, financed by a higher gas tax, which was offset by estate and sales tax cuts. His administration has also taken over control in Atlantic City, a result of legislation enabling him to help the struggling seaside resort town.MORE NEWS: Free COVID Tests Now Available Online Through USPS
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