N.J. governor orders widespread budget cuts

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is ordering a variety of spending cuts intended to close a $2.2 billion budget gap. Democrats are blasting the surprise move.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is ordering a variety of spending cuts intended to close a $2.2 billion budget gap. Democrats are blasting the surprise move.

    [audio:100211PGBUDGET2.mp3]
    Using an executive order, Christie declared a “fiscal state of emergency” to advance his budget plan.

    Christie: New Jersey is in a financial state of crisis. Our state’s budget has been left in a shambles and it requires immediate action to achieve balance.

    His plan withholds half a billion dollars in school aid and trims $62 million from higher education. Charity care at hospitals was cut by almost $13 million.

    Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, criticized the governor for not consulting legislators before announcing the cuts.

    Sweeney: There’s a process that takes place to decide what are the right cuts or what are the wrong cuts. To govern by executive order is not going to be ccepted here.

    Democratic legislative leaders questioned the legality of the executive order and said they’d examine how to respond to it.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.