Phil Murphy, Matthew Hale & Max Pizarro


HI, I’M BARRY OSTROWSKI AT RWJBARNABAS HEALTH WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE INFORMED ABOUT THE IMPORTANT HEALTHCARE ISSUES AFFECTING THEIR LIVES THAT’S WHY WE’RE PROUD TO SUPPORT THE IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING PRODUCED BY THE CAUCUS EDUCATIONAL CORPORATION>>STATE OF AFFAIRS WITH STEVE ADUBATO IS BROUGHT TO YOU FROM THE AGNES VARIS NJTV STUDIO AT 2 GATEWAY. FUNDING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY RWJBARNABAS HEALTH THE NEW JERSEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION NEW JERSEY RESOURCES THE LAW FIRM OF GIBBONS PC HORIZON BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF NEW JERSEY NJM AUTO INSURANCE, HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE AND MORE WITH THE FOCUS ON SAFETY AND FINANCIAL STABILITY INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 825 AND BY THE NORTHEAST REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY NJ ADVANCE MEDIA AND BY NJBIZ ALL BUSINESS, ALL NEW JERSEY [MUSIC PLAYS]>>WELCOME TO THE PREMIER EDITION OF STATE OF AFFAIRS. I’M STEVE ADUBATO COMING TO YOU FROM THE AGNES VARIS NJTV STUDIO IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY. IT IS OUR HONOR TO WELCOME AMBASSADOR PHIL MURPHY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF THE GREAT STATE OF NEW JERSEY. WELCOME TO STATE OF AFFAIRS.>>I’M HONORED TO BE HERE STEVE. THANKS FOR HAVING ME.>>IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU. LET ME ASK YOU AMBASSADOR, WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY WHEN WE HAVE JUST A FEW CHALLENGES THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH?>>WE SURE DO. I COULD GIVE YOU A COUPLE OF ANSWERS. ONE IS I GREW UP IN A CULTURE OF SERVICE IN MY FAMILY. MY DAD DIDN’T GET OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, BUT BOY WE WERE INTO POLITICS AND HE MADE SURE WE WERE. BUT MORE IMMEDIATELY IN THE HERE AND NOW, I THINK NEW JERSEY IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDER MANAGED ENTITIES I’VE EVER SEEN IN ANY WALK OF MY LIFE. THERE’S SO MUCH WE COULD BE DOING. DO WE HAVE CRISES? DO WE HAVE CHALLENGES? ABSOLUTELY. BUT WITH THE RIGHT LEADERSHIP AND THE RIGHT PRIORITIES, I THINK WE CAN GET BACK ON OUR FEET FASTER THAN ANY OF US MAY THINK>>LET’S DO THIS. BY THE WAY, WE’RE GOING TO BE INTERVIEWING VIRTUALLY EVERY MAJOR CANDIDATE ON THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN SIDE AND ONCE THE CANDIDATES ARE CHOSEN IN JUNE ON THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN SIDE, WE’LL FOCUS ON THOSE TWO CANDIDATES. AND BY THE WAY, FINALLY, I WANT TO THANK OUR PARTNERS HERE AT NJTV WHERE WE’RE COMING TO YOU FROM FOR MAKING ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE. AMBASSADOR, LET ME ASK YOU THIS THE PENSION ISSUE. WE’RE DOING THIS PROGRAM RIGHT AFTER THE GOVERNOR HAS DELIVERED HIS STATE OF THE BUDGET ADDRESS. HE HAS TALKED ABOUT ONE OF THE LARGEST PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS I BELIEVE 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS IN THE FY18 BUDGET>>YEAH>>THAT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS A GOVERNOR HAS CONTRIBUTED IN TERMS OF THIS CRISIS. IN TERMS OF THE NEW JERSEY PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIRING.>>YUP>>THAT’S A GOOD THING, CORRECT?>>IT’S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT IT’S WAY LATE AND IT’S NOT ENOUGH. THIS IS A CRISIS THAT’S BEEN BUILDING SINCE THE 1990’S AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN, WE’VE HAD FOLKS ON ONE SIDE OF THE TABLE, THE PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS, DOING WHAT THEY’VE BEEN ASKED TO DO AND THE STATE HAS CONSISTENTLY RENEGED. NOT ONLY UNDER GOVERNOR CHRISTIE, BUT BEFORE AS WELL>>DEMOCRATS AS WELL>>BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. NO ONE HAS KICKED THE CAN AS FAR OR AS HARD AS THIS GOVERNOR. IT’S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO MAKE THIS PAYMENT, BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH>>LET ME ASK YOU AMBASSADOR. IN TERMS OF TOTAL CONTRIBUTION,>>YEAH>>AND AGAIN, THIS IS A CUMULATIVE SITUATION AND IT’S HARD TO FIGURE OUT. AND YOU KNOW NUMBERS BETTER THAN MOST. YOU HAVE A BACKGROUND IN FINANCE IF YOU WILL>>[LAUGHTER]>>WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THE ACTUAL, I DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO CALL IT DEBT OR THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT ACTUALLY IS GOING TO COME DUE… IS IT 40, IS IT 50, IS IT 60, IS IT 80 BILLION DOLLARS IN TERMS OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WHO WILL RETIRE IN NEW JERSEY AND THE MONEY’S NOT GOING TO BE THERE?>>YEAH, I LOOK TO THE ACTUARIES I THINK IT’S 40 SOMETHING BILLION DOLLARS AND AS YOU MENTIONED, IF YOU DON’T MAKE THE PAYMENTS, IT’S A CUMULATIVE CRISIS. IT GETS OUT AHEAD OF YOU. IT’S ALSO ONE OF THE THORNIEST CRISES WE’LL EVER FACE BECAUSE IN THE AGGREGATE, IT’S MEASURED IN TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, I DEFY YOU TO FIND SOMEONE WHO WAS CHANGING BEDPANS FOR 25 OR 30 YEARS AND LOOK AT THAT INDIVIDUAL AND ASK WHETHER SHE OR HE IS LIVING HIGH OFF THE HOG AS THEY SAY. THESE FOLKS ARE BARELY ABOVE THE POVERTY LINE SO THAT DICHOTOMY, THAT PARADOX MAKES THIS AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS.>>BUT AMBASSADOR, WOULD YOU SAY THAT GIVEN THE CURRENT SITUATION AND THE FACT THAT IT’S JUST NOT SUSTAINABLE, THAT THE CURRENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE STATE AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, THAT IT’S TIME TO RENEGOTIATE THAT AND LOOK AT THAT PARTICULARLY FOR NEW EMPLOYEES?>>I WOULDN’T SAY THAT. I THINK THE STATE MUST OWN UP TO ITS SIDE OF THE BARGAIN. I CHAIRED THE ORIGINAL COMMISSION ON THIS>>LET’S CLARIFY. I’M SORRY, CLARIFY>>PUT THE FULL AMOUNT OF FUNDING IN. THE AMOUNT THE GOVERNOR TALKED ABOUT IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. HE MENTIONED DEDICATING LOTTERY PROCEEDS TO THE PENSION FUNDS. I HAVEN’T STUDIED IT YET TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THAT MAKES SENSE>>OKAY>>BUT I’M OPEN MINDED TO THAT WE HAVE TO BE CREATIVE. I THINK WE THROW MONEY HAND OVER FIST TO WALL STREET. TO HEDGE FUNDS TO MANAGE OUR PENSION ASSETS AND THEY GIVE US BACK VERY MEDIOCRE IF NOT LOSING RETURNS. THERE’S A LOT OF MONEY THERE, SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK TO A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLACES TO FIND THE MONEY WE NEED TO FIND BUT THE STATE MUST OWN UP TO ITS END OF THE BARGAIN.>>SHIFT GEARS. LET’S TALK ABOUT SCHOOL FUNDING. THIS ISSUE, WE’RE NOT SURE WHERE IT’S GOING TO PLAY OUT. AS THE GOVERNOR DELIVERED HIS BUDGET ADDRESS, HE SAID THAT IN FACT IN 100 DAYS THE LEGISLATURE AND LEGISLATURE LEADERSHIP, HE WILL GET TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT THIS. THE SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA… THERE ARE MANY, MANY COMMUNITIES THAT ARE UNDERFUNDED. THAT ARE NOT GETTING THE DOLLARS THAT THEY NEED. OUTSIDE OF THE URBAN COMMUNITIES, THE SO CALLED ABBOTT DISTRICTS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE COMMUNITIES RIGHT NOW WHO ARE JUST NOT GETTING THE FUNDING THEY NEED AND THEREFORE, THEIR PROPERTY TAXES ARE WAY TOO HIGH AND NOT AFFORDABLE FOR THOSE CITIZENS?>>I’D SAY TWO THINGS. THANK GOD THE GOVERNOR ABANDONED HIS SO CALLED FAIRNESS FORMULA WHICH IS THE ULTIMATE US VERSUS THEM PROPOSAL, SO THAT’S GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS WE HAVE A SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA. IT WAS BLESSED BY OUR STATES SUPREME COURT. IT’S THE ONLY FORMULA EVER THAT’S BEEN BLESSED. IT WAS A NATIONAL MODEL. I WANT TO GO BACK AND FUND THAT FORMULA. THIS GOVERNOR HAS UNDERFUNDED IT BY OVER A BILLION DOLLARS. IT’LL BE OVER 9 BILLION DOLLARS BY THE TIME HE LEAVES. LET’S FUND THE FORMULA. IF WE FUNDED THAT FORMULA, AGAIN WHICH WAS VIEWED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE FORMULAS IN THE COUNTRY, IF WE FUND THAT FORMULA, WE GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT AGAIN, I THINK WE FIND OUR WAY CLEAR TO ANSWERING THE QUESTION YOU’VE ASKED.>>SO YOU’RE CONVINCED THAT THE FUNDING FORMULA AS IT EXISTS MAKES SENSE? THAT IT’S A GOOD PLAN?>>IT’S A GOOD PLAN. IT NEEDS TO BE UPDATED. IT WAS BLESSED IN 2008 AND IT’S NEVER BEEN FUNDED. IT ASKED THE QUESTION. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT AND WHAT SO MANY EDUCATORS LIKE ABOUT IT MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN WHAT I THINK IS IT’S A BOTTOMS UP FORMULA. IT DOESN’T JUST SAY DISTRICT X WILL GET Y DOLLARS. IT ASKS QUESTIONS OF “DOES THIS CHILD HAVE 1, 2, OR NO PARENTS?” “IS ENGLISH HIS OR HER FIRST OR NOT SPOKEN LANGUAGE?” “DO THEY HAVE FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH AS A MEASURE OF POVERTY?” “DO THEY HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS?” QUESTIONS LIKE THAT AND YOU BUILD FROM THE BOTTOM UP TO AN INTELLIGENT RESULT. I LIKE THAT A LOT.>>AMBASSADOR, LET ME ASK YOU THIS. BY THE WAY, I WANT TO CLARIFY, WHEN I REFER TO YOU AS AMBASSADOR, EVERYONE MAY NOT KNOW THAT YOU SERVE AS AMBASSADOR OF>>AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY UNDER BARAK OBAMA>>WE WILL TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE INTERESTING COMMENTS THAT YOU’VE MADE ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE AND YOUR REFERENCE TO THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. FASCINATING>>YEAH>>WE’LL GET TO THAT IN A MINUTE>>YOU BET>>BUT THE DOLLARS. WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE PENSION SITUATION IN TERMS OF STATE DOLLARS TO GO INTO THE PENSION FUND OR STATE DOLLARS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THE STATE CONTRIBUTION FOR SCHOOL FUNDING WHERE WOULD THOSE DOLLARS COME FROM AND ARE YOU PREPARED TO SAY AT THIS POINT IN TIME AS WE ENTER THE SPRING OF 2017, “YOU KNOW WHAT? WE SHOULD CONSIDER RAISING TAXES ON CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THE STATE.”>>YEAH. I THINK EVERYTHING’S GOT TO BE ON THE TABLE. LITERALLY EVERYTHING. BUT AGAIN, I’D GO BACK TO THE PENSION FUNDS. ONE, I DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS POINT. WE’RE THROWING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AT HEDGE FUNDS AND PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS.>>WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? EXPLAIN IT TO FOLKS>>WELL, THESE FUNDS, WHEN THEY FIRST STARTED 30 OR 40 YEARS AGO, WERE EXOTIC. THEY WERE UNIQUE. THEY HAD THEIR OWN SPACE AND THEY CHARGED AN ARM AND A LEG>>MMM>>TYPICALLY 2% OF THE MONEY YOU GIVE ME PLUS 20% OF HOW MUCH I EARN. THOSE ARE BIG DOLLARS. IN THE OLD DAYS, YOU GOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR. IN TODAYS WORLD, YOU DON’T. THAT’S HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT WE’RE PAYING IN FEES AND GETTING MEDIOCRE TO POOR RETURNS. I WOULDN’T WANT TO MISS THAT BUT I THINK THAT WE’VE GOT TO TURN OVER EVERY STONE. EVERY SPENDING ITEM. EVERY TAX POTENTIAL. BIG AND SMALL. I ALSO THINK WE HAVE TO GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT, HONESTLY. IT’S A 35 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET. IT’S GOT A LOT OF ZEROES. THE BOOK IS THICK. YOUR EYES GLOSS OVER. BUT IT SCREAMS OUR YOUR PRIORITIES. UNDERFUNDING THE SCHOOL BUDGET TELLS ME THAT WE’RE NOT CARING ABOUT OUR KIDS. GIVING OUT 7-8 BILLION DOLLARS IN TAX INCENTIVES TO BIG CORPORATIONS TELLS US THE PRIORITIES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION. WE’VE GOT TO LOOK LONG AND HARD AT THAT.>>I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR BEFORE WE LEAVE THIS, YOU ARE OPEN TO THE IDEA OF RAISING TAXES ON THE NEW JERSIANS WHO ARE AT THE HIGHER END OF THE INCOME BRACKET.>>YOU HAVE TO BE.>>YOU HAVE TO BE?>>ABSOLUTELY. THIS IS A STATE IN ECONOMIC CRISIS. EVERYTHING HAS TO BE ON THE TABLE.>>RESPECTFULLY, AMBASSADOR, WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE IN THE BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AND OTHERS WHO ARGUE “WAIT A MINUTE!”. WHAT ABOUT IF WE LOSE THOSE FOLKS BECAUSE THEY SAY “YOU KNOW WHAT, IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE TO BE HERE. I’M LEAVING. I’M GOING TO FLORIDA, WHEREVER”>>WE’VE LOST SOME OF THEM. FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO BE THE GOVERNOR IF I GET THERE FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND STAYED SECONDLY, WE HAVE TO GROW OUR ECONOMY. THE BIG GORILLA ISSUE UNDER THE CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION IS A BROKEN ECONOMY. ONE THAT IS NEITHER GROWING, NOR FAIR. AND SO FOR THE FOLKS WHO ARE FRUSTRATED AND FEEL LIKE THEY GET PAINTED INTO A CORNER, WHO COULD BLAME THEM? THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT WE’VE GOT TO GROW THIS STATE AGAIN. WE USED TO BE REALLY GOOD AT THAT. WE WERE SILICON VALLEY BEFORE THERE WAS A SILICON VALLEY. WE OWNED THE INFRASTRUCTURE ECONOMY. WE’VE LOST OUR EDGE IN BOTH. LET’S GET THAT BACK. I BELIEVE WE CAN GET IT BACK AND I WANT TO DO THAT.>>WORD ASSOCIATION… I SAY PRESIDENT TRUMP, YOU SAY>>HUGELY DISAPPOINTED. I’M VERY CONCERNED.>>BUT IT’S WORSE THAN THAT BECAUSE, AMBASSADOR, YOU ACTUALLY SAID, AND I COULD GET THIS WRONG… YOU MADE SOME REFERENCE>>YOU BET>>YOU SAID YOU UNDERSTAND A LITTLE BIT. NOT AN EXPERT ON GERMANY BUT YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE REST OF US. YOU KNOW A HECK OF A LOT MORE THAN ME>>YEAH>>YOU SAID I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF GERMANY AND AS I LISTEN TO THIS PRESIDENT, I HEAR THINGS. I HEAR RHETORIC AND I HAVE A SENSE THAT REMINDS ME OF A TIME IN GERMANY WHEN SOME SCARY THINGS HAPPENED IN THE 1930’S IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN?>>THE 20’S AND 30’S. I WON’T BACK OFF OF THAT. I’M NOT TRYING TO GET PEOPLES HAIR ON FIRE>>WELL, IT DID>>WELL, WE HAVE TO BE ON THE EDGE OF OUR SEAT. THE COMPARISON, AT LEAST IN THE EARLY STAGES, AND I’VE ALSO SAID PLEASE GOD, I’M NOT SUGGESTING IT ENDS LIKE IT ENDED IN GERMANY, BUT ONE THING YOU REALIZE… WHEN YOU START DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE BASED ON WHATEVER YOU WANT TO FILL IN THE BLANK AND IN THIS CASE, RELIGIOUS… BASED ON HOW THEY WORSHIP>>MUSLIM BAN>>AND A MUSLIM BAN IN THIS CASE WHEN THAT TRAIN GETS GOING DOWN THE TRACKS, THE ONE LESSON I KNOW FROM GERMANY IS IT CAN GET OUT AHEAD OF YOU AND YOU CAN NEVER CATCH THAT TRAIN SO IT’S UP TO US TO STAND OUR GROUND. AND AN ATTACK ON ONE RELIGION IS AN ATTACK ON ALL RELIGIONS OF THIS COUNTRY AS AN EXAMPLE.>>STAYING ON THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BUT IT’S CONNECTING BACK TO NEW JERSEY. REPEAL AND REPLACE. WE DON’T KNOW WHERE THINGS ARE GOING TO PLAY OUT. STATE OF AFFAIRS WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THAT AS WELL AS OUR OTHER COLLEAGUES IN PUBLIC TELEVISION. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST CONCERN ABOUT WHAT THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT MAY OR MAY NOT DO AS IT RELATES TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND ITS IMPACT ON NEW JERSEY?>>YEAH. THEY TALK ABOUT REPEAL AND REPLACE. AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, IT’S A BUMPER STICKER. IT’S NOT A POLICY. THEY CAN’T THEMSELVES FIGURE IT OUT. IF IT WERE TO BE DISASSEMBLED THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, IT WOULD BE A FISCAL AND HEALTHCARE DISASTER FOR OUR STATE AND I HOPE OUR GOVERNOR STANDS UP AS MANY OTHER GOVERNORS HAVE STOOD UP AND SAID “LISTEN, MR. PRESIDENT, REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS, THIS IS A POTENTIAL AMERICAN DISASTER”. LOOK AT THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN OUR STATE WHO DIDN’T HAVE HEALTHCARE BEFORE WHO HAVE IT NOW. LOOK AT THE MILLIONS WHO HAVE PREEXISTING CONDITIONS WHO WOULD NO LONGER BE ABLE TO GET HEALTHCARE. LOOK AT THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF KIDS WHO ARE ON THEIR PARENTS PLANS TILL THEY’RE 26 YEARS OLD. WOMEN’S ACCESS TO..>>MEDICAID EXPANSION AS WELL.>>ABSOLUTELY. SO THEY’RE NOW TALKING ABOUT MEDICAID BLOCK GRANTS. HERE, YOU TAKE THIS BLOCK OF MONEY. YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO SPEND IT.>>WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYING “STATES, YOU TAKE THIS MONEY AND YOU ADMINISTER IT”>>THERE’S A LOT WRONG WITH IT. THEY DID IT WITH WELFARE IN THE 1990’S>>WHAT HAPPENED?>>WE’RE DRAGGING AND PEOPLE ARE GOING WITHOUT. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IS FOLKS WHO NEED MEDICAID THE MOST WOULDN’T GET IT. YOU START TO MAKE DECISION. HEALTHCARE GOES FROM BEING A RIGHT TO BEING A PRIVILEGE.>>ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE?>>I WORRY ABOUT THEM A LOT MAN. I WORRY ABOUT THEM A LOT. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY UNFAIR STATE AND RIGHT NOW I FEAR THAT IT’S AN UNFAIR COUNTRY UNDER THIS PRESIDENT.>>AMBASSADOR, LAST QUESTION. I ASK A LOT OF LEADERS IN THIS POSITION, THE NUMBER ONE LEADERSHIP LESSON THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND HOW IT COULD HELP FORM THE KIND OF GOVERNOR YOU WOULD BE. I KNOW IT’S A TRICK QUESTION. NUMBER ONE LESSON IN LEADERSHIP YOU’VE LEARNED? HOW WOULD IT IMPACT YOU AS GOVERNOR? GO.>>IF YOU HAVE A CRISIS, GET OUT AHEAD OF IT. I HAD A SERIES OF CRISES THAT I HAD TO DEAL WITH AS THE US AMBASSADOR IN GERMANY IF YOU ALLOW A CRISIS TO DRAG YOU ALONG, IT INVARIABLY GETS BIGGER AND WORSE. YOU GET BEHIND IT, YOU HAVE FEWER OPTIONS. AS PAINFUL AS IT IS, GET OUT AHEAD OF IT. SO AS AN EXAMPLE IN THIS STATE, WE HAVE AN ECONOMIC CRISIS. LET’S BE FRANK WITH EACH OTHER. LET’S TALK CLEARLY ABOUT IT. LET’S HAVE EVERYONE UNDERSTAND WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE COULD GO.>>AMBASSADOR PHIL MURPHY, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US>>AN HONOR TO BE HERE STEVE.>>ON THE PREMIER EDITION OF STATE OF AFFAIRS. AND I ALSO WANT TO SAY TO FOLKS WHO ARE FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER AND I’M ON FACEBOOK THAT MANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS THAT YOU’VE BEEN SUBMITTING TO US, YOU CAN SEE US ONLINE RIGHT THERE. WE’RE CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION. SO MANY OF THOSE QUESTIONS HAVE INFORMED THIS INTERVIEW WITH AMBASSADOR MURPHY AS WELL AS THE OTHER INTERVIEWS THAT WE’LL ALSO BE HAVING WITH OTHER CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR. THANK YOU AMBASSADOR.>>THANK YOU STEVE>>STAY WITH US. STATE OF AFFAIRS WILL BE RIGHT BACK RIGHT AFTER THIS NEW JERSEY VOTERS WILL SOON DECIDE WHO WILL BE NEW JERSEY’S NEXT GOVERNOR AFTER CHRIS CHRISTIE NOW MY JOB IS TO ASK THE CANDIDATES THE TOUGH QUESTIONS THAT YOU WANT ANSWERED. SO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @STEVE ADUBATO AND POST THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION THAT YOU WANT ME TO ASK NEW JERSEY’S NEXT GOVERNOR>>STATE OF AFFAIRS WELCOMES OUR GOOD FRIEND MATT HALE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY AND BACK HERE IN THE STUDIO ON NJTV, MAX PIZARRO EDITOR OF INSIDER NJ.COM THIS IS A NEW SITE>>YES IT IS.>>WHICH IS ALL ABOUT WHAT?>>IT’S ALL ABOUT NEW JERSEY POLITICS STEVE.>>GOOD TO HAVE YOU GUYS ON THE PREMIER EDITION OF STATE OF AFFAIRS. YOU WERE ACTUALLY IN THE OTHER ROOM LISTENING TO AMBASSADOR MURPHY, ONE OF MANY CANDIDATES WHO WILL BE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR, TALKING TO US. BIGGEST TAKE AWAY FOR YOU FROM THAT DISCUSSION?>>I THINK THAT PHIL MURPHY HAS THE CONFIDENCE OF A FRONT RUNNER RIGHT NOW STEVE. HE’S IN A VERY GOOD SPOT AND SO HE IS JUST IN A VERY PRIME POSITION TO WIN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. HE SEEMS AT EASE WITH HIMSELF.>>AND ON THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ISSUES AS I SAID BEFORE DURING THE BREAK THAT WE REALLY TRY TO FOCUS ON, ON THE ISSUES, WHAT DOES IT SAY AS TO WHERE HIS FOCUS IS MATT?>>I THINK MURPHY’S MADE HIS CASE RIGHT NOW IS THAT HE’S FOCUSED ON THE MIDDLE CLASS. HE’S FOCUSED ON THE PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO BE STRUGGLING IN NEW JERSEY AND SO HE’S GOING TO DO A LOT OF THINGS THAT SORT OF APPEAL TO THOSE FOLKS. THAT CAN MEAN THINGS LIKE HE MAY TRY AND RAISE TAXES ON THE RICH SO THAT THEY CAN HELP PAY FOR MORE THINGS FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. I’M NOT SURE HE’S QUITE READY TO SAY THAT YET, BUT I THINK THAT MIGHT BE WHERE HE’S HEADED.>>BECAUSE WE TRY TO BE VERY ISSUE ORIENTED, I’M CURIOUS ABOUT THIS. IF WE’RE TRYING TO GET A SENSE OF WHERE MOST VOTERS ARE AND WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT AND HOW THEY’LL MAKE A DECISION ABOUT WHO WILL SUCCEED CHRIS CHRISTIE AS GOVERNOR BY TAKING OVER IN 2018 BUT IN GETTING ELECTED IN NOVEMBER, 2017, MAX, LET ME ASK YOU… TOP THREE ISSUES.>>I THINK PUBLIC SAFETY FOR MANY PEOPLE>>DEFINE THAT>>I THINK PROPERTY TAXES>>DEFINE PUBLIC SAFETY>>WELL, I THINK PEOPLE WANT TO BE ABLE TO WALK OUT THEIR FRONT DOOR ONTO THE STREET AND NOT WORRY ABOUT VIOLENCE AND I THINK WE’RE LIVING IN VERY VOLATILE TIMES, CERTAINLY IN MANY OF OUR URBAN AREAS. CHILDREN GOING TO SCHOOL HAVE GRAVE WORRIES. I THINK THAT PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE IN CONJUNCTION WITH PROPERTY TAXES FOR SO MANY PEOPLE… AND THE TWO ISSUES ARE RELATED IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. I THINK THAT CERTAINLY SCHOOLS ACCOUNT FOR 60% OF MOST PEOPLES PROPERTY TAXES AND OUR PROPERTY TAXES ARE EXORBITANT.>>PARDON ME FOR INTERRUPTING MAX. SO THE SCHOOLS…>>CERTAINLY>>THE SCHOOL FUNDING ISSUE IS HUGE?>>IT’S HUGE. IT’S HUGE. AND THE GOVERNOR TALKED ABOUT TRYING TO REFORM IT OVER THE NEXT 100 DAYS WITH THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE AND STEVE, YOU ASKED ME FOR A THIRD ISSUE AND I WOULD SAY TRANSPORTATION IN NEW JERSEY. I THINK TRANSPORTATION. I DO. I THINK IT’S A HUGE ISSUE. I THINK PEOPLE ARE SPENDING MORE AND MORE TIME IN THEIR CARS. I THINK PEOPLE HAVE MORE CARS THAN THE ROADS CAN CONTAIN AND I THINK THAT NEW JERSEY, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN A TRANSIT STATE. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN A TRANSPORTATION STATE AND I THINK THAT WE’RE IN A VERY HARD TIME THERE AS WELL. I WOULD NAME THOSE THREE ISSUES>>MATT, LET ME ASK YOU. IF IN FACT MAX IS RIGHT, HOW IS IT THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR TALK ABOUT THOSE ISSUES IN A COMPELLING WAY TO ENGAGE VOTERS THAT SAY “THAT’S IT! THAT’S WHERE I WANT TO GO!”. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?>>I THINK THOSE ISSUES ARE CERTAINLY THE ONES THAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT. I THINK THAT THE WAY YOU CONNECT IT TO THAT… I’D ALSO ADD EDUCATION. I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE STATE ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE A REALLY GREAT EDUCATION SYSTEM>>FOR THEIR OWN KID>>FOR THEIR OWN KID. THEY’RE LESS INTERESTED IN OTHER KIDS.>>I JUST WANT TO CLARIFY.>>NO, YOU’RE RIGHT. ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY WANTS THEIR OWN KID. BUT I THINK THAT THE TRANSPORTATION ISSUE YOU CONNECT BY SAYING “WE’VE GOT TO GET PEOPLE TO PHILADELPHIA AND WE’VE GOT TO GET PEOPLE TO NEW YORK” BECAUSE THAT’S A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF WHO WE ARE IN NEW JERSEY. WE’VE GOT TO GET PEOPLE MOVING UP AND DOWN THE STATE.>>BUT MATT, STAY ON THAT. BECAUSE HERE’S THE CONTRADICTION THAT I SEE. WE TALK ABOUT THE STATE OF AFFAIRS OF TRANSPORTATION, PEOPLE SAY “I WANT TO HAVE A STRONG TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. I DON’T WANT TO HAVE ALL OF THESE POTHOLES. I WANT TO HAVE BRIDGES THAT WORK. I WANT TO HAVE THINGS BE SAFE”. AND WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN PEOPLE WERE ASKED ABOUT THE GAS TAX WHERE YOU’D SPEND A FEW MORE CENTS ON THE GAS TAX. THEY’D SAY “ABSOLUTELY NOT”. SO ISN’T THERE A DISCONNECT? AND BY THE WAY, THE GAS TAX TO PAY FOR ALL OF THOSE DIFFERENT THINGS. WHAT AM I MISSING?>>SO I THINK THAT THE THING THAT PEOPLE GET FRUSTRATED AT IS THEY FEEL LIKE WE’RE GIVING ALL OF THIS MONEY AND WE’RE NOT GETTING THE BEST THAT WE POSSIBLY CAN. WE’RE ALREADY GIVING AND WE’RE NOT GETTING THIS FANTASTIC…>>SO LET’S NOT TRUST… SORRY FOR INTERRUPTING. LET’S NOT TRUST ANY OF THE POLITICIANS AS TRUMP SAYS. LET’S DRAIN THE SWAMP. BUT THEN WHAT WOULD GOVERNMENT DO THEN?>>WELL, I THINK THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ANY OF THE CANDIDATES IN THE NEXT ELECTION HAS TO FOCUS ON IS WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT NEW JERSEY IS THE STATE THAT DELIVERS THE SERVICES THAT WE ALL WANT. WE DELIVER TRANSPORTATION AND SO THERE’S GOT TO BE THIS ACCOUNTING OF WHERE THAT MONEY GOES. THERE’S GOT TO BE THIS TRANSPARENCY AT WHERE THIS MONEY GOES. AND I THINK THAT’S A REALLY GREAT WAY OF CONNECTING PARTICULARLY TRANSPORTATION BUT ALSO I THINK EDUCATION DIRECTLY TO VOTERS. THIS IS WHERE YOUR MONEY’S GOING. THIS IS HOW WE’RE SPENDING IT AND WE’RE DOING A GOOD JOB AT THAT.>>I SAY TRUMP, YOU SAY?>>UMM…>>COME ON! I SAY TRUMP, YOU SAY…>>I’D SAY HE’S RATHER UNCONVENTIONAL STEVE IN THE WAY HE’S APPROACHING HIS OFFICE.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT TRUMP AND HIS CONNECTION WITH THE AMERICAN VOTER, A, AND B, HIS POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE CITIZENS OF NEW JERSEY BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE’RE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT.>>SURE, I WOULD SAY THAT CERTAINLY TRUMP, WHEN HE WON LAST YEAR CONNECTED TO A POPULIST FERVOR AND AS WE EXAMINE THIS GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION IN 2017, WE’RE FIRST OF ALL IN RECOGNIZING THAT NEW JERSEY IS A MACHINE STATE SO WE HAVE…>>WHAT DO YOU MEAN?>>WE HAVE PARTY ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH GIVING CANDIDATES THE LINE TO RUN STATE WIDE AND TYPICALLY THOSE CANDIDATES ARE IN A PRIME POSITION. FOR EXAMPLE, PHIL MURPHY HAS THE LINE IN MOST IMPORTANT DEMOCRATIC COUNTIES, IF NOT ALL, SO WE WOULD BELIEVE THAT HE, WITH THAT ESTABLISHMENTS SUPPORT CAN WIN. BUT, WHAT I WOULD SAY STEVE, WHEN YOU INVOKE TRUMP IS WE HAVE TO CONSIDER WHAT IS NOW A VERY ANTIESTABLISHMENT MOOD OUT THERE AND NEW JERSEY IS IN A BUBBLE IN MANY WAYS BECAUSE WE ARE SUCH AN ESTABLISHED ENTITY AS AN EAST COAST… WE’RE THE ENEMY OF MANY OF THESE POPULIST…>>I THOUGHT WE IN THE MEDIA WERE THE ENEMY, I’M SORRY!>>SORRY, THAT’S TRUE. I SUPPOSE THAT THE TWO CAN CONFLATE.>>GO BACK TO THE ENEMY ISSUE.>>I WOULD SAY THAT LOOKING AT THIS ELECTION AND CONSIDERING THIS ELECTION IN LIGHT OF DONALD TRUMP…>>YOU MEAN THE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION>>YEAH, I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THAT POPULIST MOOD OUT THERE.>>YOU THINK IT’S OUT THERE?>>I THINK IT IS>>BY THE WAY, IF MAX IS RIGHT, HOW COULD IT POTENTIALLY IMPACT THIS GUBERNATORIAL RACE?>>I THINK THAT NEW JERSEY DOESN’T FOLLOW THAT POPULIST MOOD, I DON’T THINK. I THINK NEW JERSEY IS FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY AT CHRIS CHRISTIE RIGHT NOW. I THINK THEY’RE FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY THAT HE SEEMS TO HAVE ABANDONED THE STATE AND THEY WANT SOMEONE WHO’S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF NEW JERSEY. BUT I DON’T GET THE SENSE THAT PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY ARE JUMPING ON A TRUMP BANDWAGON OR CANDIDATES THAT ARE SAYING “I’M TRUMP-LIGHT” OR “I’M TRUMP-LIKE” ARE GOING TO BE PARTICULARLY SUPPORTED. I THINK PEOPLE WANT SOMEONE WHO’S GOING TO REALLY FOCUS ON NEW JERSEY BUT NOT WITH THE SORT OF RHETORIC THAT TRUMP DOES.>>REAL QUICK, ON THIS THING ABOUT CHRIS CHRISTIE ON THE END OF HIS TERM, IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT MOST GOVERNORS AT THE END OF A SECOND TERM IS VERY HARD TO MAINTAIN A LEVEL OF POPULARITY?>>ABSOLUTELY. CERTAINLY.>>AND SO THEREFORE, FOR CHRIS CHRISTIE, IF YOU WERE TO SAY WHAT HIS LEGACY HAS BEEN, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?>>I THINK STEVE, THAT HE HAD A VERY FINE FIRST TERM. I THINK THAT HIS LEGACY IS AS A FIRST TERM GOVERNOR, HE WAS EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL. THE SECOND TERM APPEARED TO BE MIRED IN SCANDAL AND HIS OWN AMBITIONS FOR THE PRESIDENCY AND IT GOT AWAY FROM HIM.>>I WOULD CERTAINLY SAY THAT CHRIS CHRISTIE WAS ONE OF THE BEST FIRST TERM GOVERNORS IN A LONG TIME IN ANY STATE. I THINK IT WAS A COMPLETE DISASTER IN THE SECOND TERM AND I THINK THAT HE’S GONE NOWHERE.>>BUT LET ME JUST SAY THIS. AS WE’RE DOING THIS PROGRAM IN MARCH 2017, OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE FINAL MONTHS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION…>>WELL, I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE SAW IN THE BUDGET SPEECH LAST NIGHT IS CHRIS CHRISTIE GOING BACK TO THE FIRST TERM AND SAYING “I WANT TO RECROSS THE AISLE, PARTICULARLY ON SCHOOL FUNDING” HE SAID “WE HAVE 100 DAYS, WE’RE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN” BUT HE RECOGNIZED THAT IT HAD TO BE BIPARTISAN.>>BUT THAT’S A REAL ISSUE AND IT’S GOT TO BE RESOLVED AND THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY, DO THEY NOT MAX>>SURE>>YOU CAN’T JUST SAY “WAIT A MINUTE, IT’S YOUR PROBLEM BECAUSE YOU’RE THE GOVERNOR”>>RIGHT, THAT’S TRUE STEVE,>>BUT WE’LL WAIT TILL THE NEXT GOVERNOR>>RIGHT, I THINK THAT WE HAVE A DEMOCRATIC PARTY ESTABLISHMENT AND I THINK I HEARD PHIL MURPHY SAY THIS TODAY EVEN>>IN OUR INTERVIEW TODAY>>RIGHT. THAT THEY DON’T WANT TO REFORM THE SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA. THEY DON’T WANT TO CHANGE IT>>BUT DOESN’T IT NEED… SORRY FOR INTERRUPTING MATT MAX, DOESN’T IT NEED TO BE REFORMED BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY COMMUNITIES THAT ARE GETTING UNDERFUNDED, SUBURBAN COMMUNITIES>>RIGHT>>AND THEIR PROPERTY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT URBAN COMMUNITIES THAT WERE IN THE ABBOTT SCHOOL SITUATION IN TERMS OF THE COURTS AND WHAT THEY SAID. I DON’T WANT TO GET INTO A LONG WINDED THING, THAT WE HAVE TO PROTECT THEM, BUT THESE OTHER COMMUNITIES ARE SUFFERING NO?>>STEVE, I HEARD SPEAKER PRATO YESTERDAY SAY THAT HE WANTS IT TWEAKED. HE DOESN’T WANT IT OVERHAULED. CHRISTIE WANTS IT OVERHAULED.>>THOSE ARE WORDS. TWEAKED. OVERHAULED, SOME CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE OR NO?>>SURE, CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE, ABSOLUTELY. A MATTER OF HOW FAR YOU’RE WILLING TO GO. CHRISTIE WANTS TO OVERHAUL THE SYSTEM. HE WANTS A PER PUPIL SPENDING FORMULA. DEMOCRATS DON’T WANT THAT. THEY WANT THEIR POWER BASES PROTECTED IN THOSE URBAN AREAS.>>RESPECTFULLY, THAT’S ABOUT THEIR POWER BASES. THE QUESTION IS WHAT’S BEST FOR MOST CITIZENS OF THE STATE. GO AHEAD.>>ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE AT FIRST LOOK LIKED THE FAIRNESS FORMULA IS THAT IT…>>THE SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA>>THE FUNDING FORMULA IS THAT IT SORT OF GAVE EVERYBODY THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY AND THAT SEEMS TO A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING TOO MUCH IN PROPERTY TAXES IS THAT IT’S NOT FAIR>>BUT IT’S MORE COMPLEX THAN THAT BECAUSE SOME DISTRICTS NEED MORE THAN OTHERS>>ABSOLUTELY. IT’S FAR MORE COMPLEX THAN THAT, BUT FROM A POLITICAL STANDPOINT, THAT CAN BE HELPFUL. I THINK THE FACT THAT HE’S WILLING TO WORK WITH FOLKS OR SAYS THAT HE’S WILLING TO WORK WITH FOLKS MIGHT GETTING SOMETHING DONE.>>BECAUSE WE STILL HAVE PROBLEMS THAT HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH>>ABSOLUTELY.>>LISTEN GUYS, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON OUR PREMIER EDITION OF STATE OF AFFAIRS. COME BACK AGAIN?>>THANKS, ABSOLUTELY>>YOU’RE A GOOD TEAM. THAT IS IT FOR THIS PREMIER EDITION OF STATE OF AFFAIRS. LET’S CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION, SO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @STEVEADUBATO. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK ON STATE OF AFFAIRS. THANK YOU GUYS. THIS IS GOOD. STATE OF AFFAIRS WITH STEVE ADUBATO IS A PRODUCTION OF THE CAUCUS EDUCATIONAL CORPORATION CELEBRATING OVER 25 YEARS OF BROADCAST EXCELLENCE STATE OF AFFAIRS WITH STEVE ADUBATO IS BROUGHT TO YOU FROM THE AGNES VARIS NJTV STUDIO AT 2 GATEWAY FUNDING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY RWJBARNABAS HEALTH THE NEW JERSEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION NEW JERSEY RESOURCES THE LAW FIRM OF GIBBONS PC HORIZON BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF NEW JERSEY NJM INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 825 THE NORTHEAST REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS AND BY THESE PUBLIC SPIRITED ORGANIZATIONS INDIVIDUALS AND ASSOCIATIONS COMMITED TO INFORMING NEW JERSEY’S CITIZENS ABOUT THE IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING THE GARDEN STATE AND BY EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY AS AN EDUCATOR IT’S ALL ABOUT CONNECTIONS YOU’RE NOT JUST IN THE CLASSROOM YOU’RE PART OF THE COMMUNITY YOU MEET THESE TINY KIDS EVERY YEAR AND YOU HELP THEM LEARN AND GROW BUT YOU ALSO GET TO KNOW THEIR FAMILIES AND OVER THE YEARS THEY BECOME A PART OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU BECOME A PART OF THEIRS WHEN YOU BUILD THOSE CONNECTIONS YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH SOME PRETTY AMAZING THINGS I’M JACKIE CRUZIC AND I’M PROUD TO BE A NEW JERSEY EDUCATOR

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