Shortfall

N.J. May Declare Financial Emergency

One week after winning a hard-fought election victory over Democrat Jon Corzine, New Jersey Governor-elect Chris Christie is facing facts about the state’s financial crisis. The former state prosecutor is weighing the possibility of declaring a financial emergency as a way to deal with an $8 billion shortfall he must account for before presenting his first budget in March. In the event of such a declaration, Christie could theoretically suspend the no-layoff pledge negotiated between his predecessor, Jon Corzine, and the Communications Workers of America, the largest state workers union—a pledge Christie has repeatedly said he isn't "bound by." The CWA has called the possible emergency declaration, used by Corzine in 2006 to move past an impasse between himself and the legislature, "dictatorial." The CWA is due for two raises in the next budget year.