Governor Chris Christie delivered his seventh State of the State address to a packed crowd at the Statehouse January 10. The Address spent scant time on past successes, almost exclusively focusing on the need to address the growing heroin and opiod epidemic.
Christie did signal that the Administration plans to address state employee pensions as part of the upcoming budget address. What that will entail is largely unknown. Christie touted the 2010 pension reforms as well as his Administration’s funding of state and school employee pensions at far more than predecessors.
The Governor also referenced proposed regulatory changes related to charter schools that, according to the Administration, afford charter school enhanced flexibility. Christie argues that, particularly in the urban environment, parents are seeking the solution that charters offer for their students.
The focus on addiction within the address didn’t come without school intersect, with Christie mandating the development of curriculum around addiction and drug prevention to be rolled out by the NJ Department of Education in the near future. The curriculum’s focus appears to be on educating students at all grade levels about the danger of opiods.