Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Christie, Sweeney claims about taxes, teacher tenure tested on Truth-O-Meter

Gov. Chris Christie discusses state Sen. Paul Sarlo's shifting positions on tax hikes in this video posted June 26 on YouTube. Go to 1:50 to hear his comments.

A lawmaker who said the budget would contain no new taxes voted to raise the income tax, and teacher tenure still exists in New Jersey even after a recent overhaul of how the safeguard will work, according to weekend rulings on the Truth-O-Meter.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter on Sunday rated Mostly True a claim by Gov. Chris Christie that state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) voted to raise taxes. On Monday, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) earned a True for his claim that teacher tenure still exists in New Jersey.

Christie claim

Christie claimed that Sarlo, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said in February the state’s new budget would contain no tax increases, but voted in June to raise income taxes by $800 million. The Truth-O-Meter found that Christie’s statement, made during a June 26 town hall meeting in Ocean County, was largely correct. Christie lost points, however, for failing to note that Sarlo’s vote would only have affected people with taxable income exceeding $1 million, and that the tax hike technically was separate from the budget bill approved by the Legislature.

Sweeney claim

Tenure has been overhauled but maintained, under a bill passed recently by the state Legislature, Sweeney said during a July 2 interview with radio host Brian Lehrer on WNYC. The overhaul, not yet approved by Christie, makes it more difficult to get and retain tenure, but educators would still be able to appeal a charge of inefficiency. Teachers having due process is a key element of tenure, an expert told PolitiFact New Jersey.

Is it true?

With less than four months to the November election, PolitiFact New Jersey wants to know what candidate claims are on your mind. Share them with us at politifactnj@starledger.com and they might be a future fact-check on the Truth-O-Meter.

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