State Sen. Linda Greenstein-(D) joined some of her fellow Democrats Tuesday in objecting to some of Gov. Chris Christie’s State of the State address.
She said that while the speech was optimistic, and that the governor has done a fine job responding to Hurricane Sandy, there are still many issues that he has failed to address, including unemployment and the foreclosure problem.
“What we have to look at is, what was the world like before Sandy? We actually had, in spite of some of these programs he’s touting, we had tremendous problems in this state.”
She said that unemployment was high well before Sandy, and that surrounding states are seeing economic recoveries that are outpacing New Jersey's.
“Our unemployment was 9.9 percent in August 2012, the highest since 1977, and even in surrounding states unemployment is falling. It’s currently 9.6, that’s the highest of our neighboring states,” said Greenstein.
While Gov. Christie touted the ability of Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve tough problems, Greenstein said that isn’t always the case when it comes to the governor. She said the Democrats have repeatedly put forth bills that include tax cuts, job programs, and ways to invest, and the governor has consistently rejected them.
“I think there were 30 bills at one time, several bills that has promise to do good things, and he vetoed them,” she said. “ He picked out a couple that he let go through, but that was our approach. I felt like we had a real program to deal with the job problem, and I don’ think he did and that was one problem.”
Greenstein also said little has been done about the foreclosure crisis. With about 7 percent of homeowners in foreclosure, second in the nation, the problem is one that will not go away because of any optimism generated by a Hurricane Sandy recovery, she said.
“There’s a national trend that we have seen with foreclosures going down, but not in New Jersey, and they’ve done nothing about it,” she said. “So many families continue to lose their home, and with the failure of the administration to respond that’s a bad combination.”
Greenstein also said the administration has failed to lead on health care by not signing the federal healthcare exchange program, leaving it in the hands of the federal government.