Gov. Christie announces renovation of State House
Gov. Chris Christie announced that he's beginning a complete renovation of the New Jersey State House, calling its condition "shameful" and "embarrassing."
"This is something that second-term governors can and should do so that there's no misconception to the public that it's for me," said Christie.
The renovation will cost $300 million, but the governor did not say where that money will come from.
The governor said the renovation would take about four years, and his staff would have to move to another building in Trenton next year.
He said it's urgent due to the building crumbling, with windows falling off the walls.
"Any type of tragedy happening here, if I didn't do anything about this, would be both on my watch and on my conscience," said Christie.
Christie said the building is in violation of multiple safety codes. He said everyone must be evacuated by July and he plans to be among them.
He also mocked reporters for speculating he may leave office early for the Trump administration.
"For those of you who would be distraught at the idea that I would be leaving before Jan. 18, 2018 - no reason for you to be distraught. I'm not leaving," said Christie.
Others, like community activist Bill Brennan, said a State House renovation shouldn't be a main priority right now.
"People have lost faith in the structures of government just like he's lost faith in the structure of this building," said Brennan.
The State House was built back in 1972. The governor said the state has spent millions on projects to hold it together.