STATE – Voters are fairly evenly split in their reactions to Gov. Chris Christie’s budget proposal, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released this week. Forty-eight percent are displeased with the governor’s budget, 45 percent are pleased and seven percent are undecided.
“While the national media give the governor plaudits for making tough budget choices, Garden Staters are not completely pleased, showing the same polarized opinions that we’ve seen all along,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University.
Voters were evenly split on the issue of asking public workers to pay a larger share of their health benefits. A majority – 63 percent – of those paying the full cost of their own health care were in favor of asking public employees to pay more. Just 27 percent of workers with employer-paid benefits agreed that public employees should pay more.
A majority also support the governor’s proposed plan to overhaul New Jersey’s public employee pension plan. However, nearly three quarters want to reinstate the so-called “millionaire’s tax.” Eighty-two percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans are in favor of increasing taxes on New Jersey residents making more than $1 million per year.
“While voters are more than willing to have public employees see significant cuts in pension and health benefits, they also strongly believe the sacrifice should be shared,” said Redlawsk. “While the governor uses the mantra of shared sacrifice, voters specifically believe that costs should also be paid by those at the top of the income scale.”
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