• New Jersey
• Gov. Richard J. Codey
Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, making his second and final State of the State Address since he stepped in to finish his predecessor’s term, urged New Jersey lawmakers to invest in school construction and higher education even as they battle a huge budget deficit.
The governor’s speech on Jan. 10 did not include broad proposals typical of governors entering a new year, since he steps down this week. Fellow Democrat Jon S. Corzine was scheduled to be sworn in as the Garden State’s governor Jan. 17.
Looking Back: Mr. Codey highlighted the state’s education achievements during his 14-month tenure, including becoming a national leader with its school security program, and introduction of a plan to require steroid testing of high school athletes. The state also banned junk food and soda from schools, and began a pilot program requiring community service for high school graduation.
The governor, however, urged the legislature to hold the line on spending. The state, with an unusually lean $27.4 billion budget this fiscal year, faces an estimated $6 billion deficit in fiscal 2007.
Fiscal Prudence: Despite the state’s fiscal challenges, the governor cautioned that failing to spend on basic infrastructure, such as transportation, school construction, and colleges, could cost the state dearly in the future.
Mr. Codey now resumes his work as the president of the state Senate, a post he held before taking over from Gov. James E. McGreevey, who resigned amid personal and political scandal in 2004.