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Christie administration defends payroll increase

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Governor Christie’s office is disputing an Associated Press report that salaries for employees in the Governor’s office are nearly $2 million more than in the previous administration.

The annualized payroll for Governor Christie’s office is $8.9 million. The Christie Administration says that’s only $400,000 more than Governor Corzine’s staff received last year.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo says nevertheless that higher payroll sends mixed signals at a time of budget cuts.

“The theme, the mantra that we’ve been hearing over and over from this Governor is shared sacrifice,” says Sarlo. “That’s not shared sacrifice.”

Christie Spokesman Mike Drewniak says some of the employees in the Governor’s office are sharing in the sacrifice with a lower communications staff budget.

“We work very hard,” says Drewniak. “We work 10 to 13 hour days.”

Drewniak says overall spending in the Governor’s office is higher now because, unlike Corzine, Christie takes his $175,000 a year salary, and money is spent on staff for the Lieutenant Governor and the First Lady.

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