Gov. Chris Christie unveiled his promised tool kit Monday. It's designed to help schools, colleges and municipalities spend less and cope with the recession. Like most major legislation, there is something in it for everyone to love or hate.
A primary feature of tool kit is the 2.5 percent maximum increase on the annual property tax levy.
Bridgeton superintendent Vic Gilson noted that the tool box seems to have primarily one tool - a hammer. He wanted to know if Christie could also make health insurance companies keep their rate hikes to 2.5 percent.
Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association upped the ante by noting that the kit also appeared to contain a saw.
Some highlights of the Educatonal Tool Kit include:
_ No school contract award in excess of 2.5% cap, inclusive of all salary, benefit and other economic contract provisions.
_ School districts could once again impose a “last best offer” contract under certain circumstances.
_ Executive county superintendents approve of all union and superintendent contracts. No approval of contracts with salary/benefit increases exceeding the 2.5% cap;-
_ Executive county superintendents would be required to implement sharing of school business functions across districts and with municipalities.
The governor now has to convince the state Legislature that his took kit will build a better government for New Jersey.