No new taxes in Christie $34.4B budget proposal

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is proposing a state budget that does not raise taxes or trim school aid, but offers no major new programs or initiatives.

    All but a small fraction of the growth in revenue will go toward pension and debt payments and employee health care costs.

    The $34.4 billion budget includes a $2.25 billion payment into the public employee pension fund, an amount that represents four-sevenths of what the state actually owes.

    Retiree and debt payments continue to crowd out other spending, despite landmark pension reforms enacted during Christie’s first term.

    The Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate delivers this budget as traffic jam and storm aid scandals have mired the start of his second term.

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