Senator Lesniak Shares Why He's Running for NJ Governor
New Jersey gubernatorial candidate, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak (D), shares why he decided to run for Governor after so many years in the legislature. He also talks about his plan to stop the “politics as usual” in New Jersey and describes how he will get the state out of its financial deficit, make New Jersey more affordable, and attract business to the state.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. Coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark. It is our pleasure to welcome State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, candidate for governor of the great state of New Jersey. Good to see you senator. Nice to be here. How many years you've been in the state legislature? 40. This is my 40th year. Alright. So you said, "I am not running for..."? It's time to move up or move out. I plan on moving up. You're moving up? Moving up. Because? Because the state needs leadership that is not existent either now or I see with the other Democratic candidates. So I want to make a difference. Okay. I've sponsored the most powerful environmental protection laws in the country. Prison, civil justice, and criminal justice reform. LGBT rights. Animal welfare. I've been a champion on these issues. New Jersey needs that type of leadership. We've got problems. So speaking of problems, let start with the state pension crisis. By the way, is there a crisis? It is a crisis. Sure it is. Define the crisis. How about 150 billion dollars between the pension and the healthcare in not being there. Not... What do you mean? Let's be clear. You mean for state employees who will be retiring? And... And they expect those pension benefits to be there for them, their health benefits to be there for them, may not be there? And... well, in about 20 or 30 years they may not be. If what? And that's a problem. If we don't adequately start funding 'em now. I mean it's kinda like climate change. We have to start now, or else decades later, there's gonna be... we won't be able to catch up. But senator, respectfully, there are those who have come in here to say it has been Democrats and Republicans as governor, together with the legislature, as governors together, but the legislature who have not adequately funded on the state end, right? Mm hmm. Their fair share. What would you say to those who say, "You know what? Ray Lesniak, Senator Lesniak's been a leader in so many areas, what has the senator done to make sure the state has put in their fair share so the pension wouldn't be in crisis today?" And that's why I'm running for governor. But by the way, I did have a proposal ten years ago to put six to eight billion dollars in the pension plan. In one fiscal year? Yes. Yes. When the budget...? Well now it's 35 billion dollars..."