Shortly after winning the election Chris Christie floated the idea of an emergency declaration to get the state’s fiscal house in order.
A declaration would give the Governor broad new powers. However, it’s reserved for things like hurricanes and other force majeures that are unaticipated and deliver chaos. i suppose we could argue over whether New Jersey is in that bad a fiscal shape, but what if Christie uses the declaration to overturn New Jersey civil service laws which govern public employees?
I am told that the transition team has an army of lawyers looking into this. But when I asked the Governor-elect about it Friday, he didn’t show his hand. He acknowledged that many things are being considered and looked at. He went on to say that he disagrees with having civil service and collective bargaining because it gives workers the right to grieve to both places until they get the desired outcome.
New Jersey’s civil service laws were established to protect workers from being ( hehe ) politicized. The idea was to keep hiring merit based. Labor leaders are predictably concerned if Christie were to do away with them. It’ll be curious to see if he tries.
It’s also unclear what that buys him. But no doubt it would eliminate protections for workers that have been established over many decades.