Christopher James “Chris” Christie (born Sept. 6, 1962, in Newark, N.J.), a Republican, has been governor of New Jersey since January 2010 and was re-elected in a landslide to a second term in 2013.
A 1984 graduate of the University of Delaware, Christie earned a J.D. degree at Seton Hall University School of Law. Christie joined a Cranford, N.J., law firm in 1987, became a partner in 1993, and continued practicing until 2002. He was elected Morris County legislator and served from 1995 to 1998. By 2002, Christie had campaigned for presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; the latter appointed him U.S. attorney for New Jersey, a position he held from 2002 to 2008.
Christie was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. On Nov. 21, 2013, he was elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Focus on treatment first through drug courts: Gov. Christie has championed the use of drug courts in the state of New Jersey, which allow first-time non-violent offenders the opportunity to get the treatment they need rather than serving jail time. He is calling for the expansion of drug courts to every state.
Bail reform: It is unfair that some individuals charged with minor non-violent offenses can be held in jail while awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail, while dangerous and violent offenders can be back out on the streets because they can.
- Bail should be issued based on an assessment of risk, and judges should be able to deny release to those with violent records or who pose a threat to their communities.
- Individuals who commit non-violent minor offenses should have access to non-monetary bail options.
Social Security exists so America’s seniors, after a lifetime of hard work, don’t fall into poverty. Christie is proposing that Americans pay into this system throughout the course of their lives knowing it will be there if they need it to support them, but if they are fortunate enough to not need it, they will have paid into a system that will help Americans who need it most. This proposal will not impact current retirees, and will be phased in gradually.
Medicare spending growth is placing a burden on future generations and failing to produce high-quality health care for our seniors. Christie proposes keeping Medicare simple: If you can afford to pay more for your health benefits you will and if you can’t, you won’t. Christie proposes expanding the existing sliding scale for Medicare premiums for higher-income seniors.
Christie proposes giving each state a set amount of Medicaid funds indexed to the number of enrollees. Under such an arrangement, Medicaid would provide more funding for states and low-income individuals when the economy is doing poorly and unemployment rises. By implementing a per capita cap system, all states will have increased freedom to tailor Medicaid programs to their citizens in the best-suited manner for their state.
The disability insurance trust fund will become insolvent within a year. The best way to save this program is by focusing on ways to help those beneficiaries who can keep working to return to the workforce and encouraging rehabilitation in lieu of permanent disability. We should require applicants to first work directly with employers and rehabilitation specialists to create a plan and explore alternatives and accommodations to address specific needs in their workplace. We also should offer tax incentives that encourage employers to invest in prevention, accommodation and rehabilitation services for their workers as well as to provide short-term private disability insurance.
National defense: We need to build a new generation of weapons systems to protect our interests on every front – on the ground, on the seas, in the air or new frontiers even further out. We need to invest in unmanned aviation, directed energy weapons and space while continuing to be leaders in undersea warfare. When it comes to cyber warfare, we need to be ready not just to defend against threats, we need the offensive capabilities to deter our enemies – or strike back when necessary.
Intelligence: We need to invest in new technologies and infrastructure to support our signals intelligence, so that we can interpret all the data we’re gathering. At the same time, we need to strengthen our human intelligence capabilities in the parts of the world where they are weakest. We also can do more to strengthen our cooperation and intelligence sharing with our neighbors, as well as our allies in Europe.
- Reform tenure to remove teachers who are failing students while rewarding good teachers for performance:Tenure for teachers should be awarded and retained based on performance. In New Jersey, Gov. Christie signed into law a bipartisan overhaul of the oldest tenure law in the nation. Also, for the first time in New Jersey history, a new contract for teachers in Newark allows them to earn raises and be eligible for additional bonuses based in part on student performance.
- Promote college readiness:Focusing on students from low-income families, college readiness programs can enroll these students in transitional courses before they graduate high school to better prepare them for college. In New Jersey’s pilot of the College Readiness Now Program, 19 community colleges in partnership with more than 60 high schools across the state participated.
- Provide school choice for those in failing districts:Students in struggling districts should have the option of attending a public school outside their district of residence without cost to their parents. Enrollment in New Jersey’s Inter-District School Choice Program increased more than fivefold since the program was signed into law in 2010.
- Expand access to charter schools: The Christie Administration has increased the overall number of charter schools in New Jersey to 87, serving 37,500 students.
- Securing the border. Christie has called for securing the border with Mexico through:
- A border wall where appropriate, specifically in urbanized areas.
- An increase in manpower, specifically embedding FBI, DEA and ATF agents with our border patrol to interdict guns and drugs being smuggled into the country.
- Advanced technology such as the use of drones and electronic surveillance to increase efficiency.
- Universal workplace enforcement: Most who enter the country illegally come here to work. Employers should not be exploiting cheap illegal labor and should be held accountable when they do. Every employer in the country should be using e-verify to check the work status of employees.
- Fines for hiring illegal workers should be double the profit a business has made from that worker. This will remove the incentive to hire illegal worker.
- Track those who are overstaying their visas: About 40% of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. came into the country legally and simply overstayed their visas. We should utilize biometric technology to track those who enter the country on a visa, so that that they can be returned home once their visas are expired.
- Eliminate funding for sanctuary cities: Christie will block federal funding for sanctuary cities that ignore the law.
Saturday: Hillary Clinton