Christie lays out budget for FY 2014 -

Christie lays out budget for FY 2014

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Governor Chris Christie gave the annual budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The governor is calling for a $32.9 billion budget.

In a packed state house Chris Christie lays out his plan for a fair and balanced budget to move New Jersey forward.

"The reforms we put in place, the investments we make, the disciplines we instill, may not all yield results this year or in this term, but they are vital nevertheless," Christie said.

Among other topics, the governor focused on major increases to education.

"This budget provides an increase of $97 million for school aid bringing total state aid education to $9 billion," Christie said.

Three hundred seventy-eight school districts should see funding increases. Two million dollars is expected to be used for a pilot program allowing students in under performing schools to choose a different school.

The governor also addressed the states now successful pension program.

"Today our pension system is on path to restored health. So I can say with confidence and some pride to you today that this budget contains a record pension payment by the state: $1.676 billion for fiscal year 2014. The largest pension contribution ever made by new jersey."

In the wake of Affordable Care Act, Christie is expanding Medicaid by 104,000 citizens using federal dollars. Christies expects the move to save taxpayers more than $227 million in fiscal year 2014 alone.

Unlike his state of the state speech Christie did not spend much time talking about Hurricane Sandy. However, the governor is proposing a $40 million Sandy contingency fund for expenses not reimbursed by the federal government.

"This will ensure that we can move ahead with maximum speed and that those things that fall through the cracks do not bankrupt families, businesses, or local governments."

With a projected budget shortfall this year, Christie's administration is proposing delaying property tax rebates for three months.

Fiscal year 2014 begins July 1.

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