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Gov. Chris Christie signed 80 bills into law last year, the fewest number of laws New Jersey has adopted in any year going back 170 years, Christie's Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd said at an exclusive breakfast for New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone members this morning.

The small number of new laws is a source of pride for the Christie administration. "We are standing up to the Legislature and telling them we are not going to sign bills that we don't believe in," O'Dowd said.

Added Charles McKenna, the governor's chief counsel, "Back in the 1770s, we were a new nation and we needed laws. We are 230-plus years old now, enough of the laws."

At the breakfast, O'Dowd, McKenna and their top deputies gave brief presentations, held a question-and-answer session and stayed for one-on-one conversations with 33 Cornerstone New Jersey members to discuss crucial issues like the state budget and taxation. The event  was held outdoors among the beautiful Gardens at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton.


Reducing Red Tape

The Christie administration staff members stressed that reducing red tape in New Jersey is a priority.

Over the first 40 months of Gov. Christie's tenure in the State House, Christie signed 440 bills into law, O'Dowd said. In the previous four years, under Gov. Jon Corzine, 950 bills were signed into law, O'Dowd said.

"We are working hard to reduce the regulatory burden," O'Dowd told the Cornerstone New Jersey members. The New Jersey Administrative Code - 7,000 pages long in 2007 - is now 3,000 pages long, he said. 

"We are making strides to make New Jersey more business friendly," McKenna added, "so you can continue to do business here and we can attract more business to the state."


Pressing Issues in Trenton 

Other pressing issues in Trenton, according to Chief of Staff O'Dowd, include adopting the state budget, passing an income tax cut that would appear on property tax bills as a credit, Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts, choosing projects for state-funded  capital investment projects at colleges and universities, finalizing the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Rutgers-Rowan merger, preparing for the Super Bowl in January, hospital closings and their conversions to privately run institutions, supporting the casino industry; and the impact on New Jersey of the federal government's "sequestration" budget cuts.

Also attending the event were Paul Matey, the governor's deputy chief counsel; Louis Goetting, the governor's deputy chief of staff; and Deborah Gramiccioni, the governor's deputy chief of staff for policy.


Cornerstone New Jersey members participate in special programs offering them unprecedented access to the state's political and business leaders and insights into the trends and issues impacting business. For more information on how your company can join the Cornerstone program, call Al Romeo at (609) 989-7888 ext.147 or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


For photos from the event, click here.