N.J. lawmakers, Gov. Christie at odds over salary caps

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Legislature have agreed on a plan to help towns control property taxes.But it’s meeting resistance from Gov. Chris Christie.The Democrats’ plan would impose an average 2 percent cap on salary increases for all police and firefighter arbitration awards. Senate President Steve Sweeney said Tuesday the cap would be in effect for three years to allow the state to determine its effectiveness in controlling local government costs.”I don’t think anyone today, any mayor in the state, would dream that we could have ever possibly gotten as far as we have gotten,” Sweeney said. “This is revolutionary because this is a real cap.”Christie said the Democrats issued a two-page press release without providing the details of legislation.”I want results for the people of the state and I want real relief,” said Christie. “I will not sign watered-down relief. I will veto-watered down relief.”Christie blasted the Legislature for not acting on much of his “tool kit” proposals to help towns comply with a law that takes effect in January limiting property tax increases to 2 percent.”This bill acknowledges the economic constraints that we’re confronted with, I think at the same time it respects the work that public safety personnel does,” said Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. “I could not fathom the governor not being pleased with what we’ve tried to do here.”

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