Gov Christie defends his state capitol renovation plan as ‘politically gutsy’

 Surrounded by a group of visiting school children from Lakewood, N.J., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a news conference in his offices in Trenton, N.J., Monday, May 22, 2017. Christie is touting the state's 4.1 percent unemployment rate as he urged voters in this year's race for governor not to vote for candidates who will reverse his policies. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Surrounded by a group of visiting school children from Lakewood, N.J., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a news conference in his offices in Trenton, N.J., Monday, May 22, 2017. Christie is touting the state's 4.1 percent unemployment rate as he urged voters in this year's race for governor not to vote for candidates who will reverse his policies. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Governor Christie insists his proposed $300 million renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse is going to happen.

Several lawmakers concerned about the expense have filed a lawsuit to block the work. They say only the repairs needed to ensure the safety of the building should be done.

Christie says it won’t be scaled back while he’s the governor.

“The idea that we’d spend $38 million in emergency repairs that literally are bandaids that will fall off in a year or two. We’ve been doing that over and over and over again because nobody has the political guts to say to people we have to spend this money for this building. So sorry, but we have to do it.”

Christie maintains there’s no legal basis to oppose the renovation project.

He said the Joint Capitol Management Commission had the authority to approve it a public meeting.

“The people who oppose this have never asked for a briefing on the nature of the extent of the renovations. Even the people who are suing didn’t talk the time to show up at the public meeting and ask any questions.”

And Christie believes it’s appropriate that bonds to finance the project were sold the same day the Economic Development Authority approved the borrowing.

“That’s efficient government, baby, efficient government. You’re going to do the job, get it done right away.”

Oral arguments in the lawmakers’ lawsuit are scheduled for June 14.

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