Gov. Christie delivers State of the State address; speech seen by national audience

Gov. Chris Christie used his State of the State address to unveil a plan to increase the amount of time children spend in public school. (1/14/14)

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie used his State of the State address to unveil a plan to increase the amount of time children spend in public school.

Christie proposed lengthening the school day and the school year. He says children who spend more time in school are better prepared academically.

The president of New Jersey's largest and most powerful teachers union says he wants input into Gov. Chris Christie's proposal to extend the length of the school day and school year. New Jersey Education Association President Wendell Steinhauer says in a statement that he welcomes the chance to sit down with Christie to discuss the benefits and challenges of the idea.

READ MORE: New Jersey Politics

The governor spoke on the heels of hundreds of pages of documents released in the "Bridge-Gate" scandal that is threatening to damage his second term and potential national ambitions. The Legislature and U.S. attorney's office are investigating a plot to create traffic jams apparently to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor.

Christie addressed the scandal at the very beginning of the address. "Without a doubt we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure this breach of trust does not happen again," Christie said. "But I also want to assure the people of New Jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state."

Christie has apologized for the traffic jams, calling his staff's behavior "stupid" and saying he didn't know about it.

Other topics addressed in the speech meant for the state, but seen nationally, were property taxes, limiting bail for certain offenders, the state's pension debt, and Sandy recovery.

For Gov. Christie's State of the State address, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.


 

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