Preview of Chris Christie’s State of the State Address

Jan 14, 2014 12:01am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has kept a low profile since his nearly two-hour press conference last week where he apologized and denied having any knowledge of close aides plotting the politically motivated lane closures leading to the George Washington Bridge.

But he can’t lay low any longer as he’s scheduled to deliver his State of the State address today to both bodies of the state legislature.

All eyes will be on how much, if any, of his speech is spent addressing the unfolding scandal now known as “bridgegate,” but one theme of the speech will be working together over politics.

An aide to Christie said the governor will “focus on how in New Jersey we’ve made the choice to work together over the last four years.”

“Our biggest accomplishments were achieved together and he will pledge to continue to do the same for a second term. He will ask the legislature and the people of the state to resolve to make the same choice and continue to put politics aside when it comes to the work at hand and put the people first,” an aide in Christie’s office told ABC News, noting he will also focus on a property tax relief initiative as well as safer streets and communities.

Other excerpts from his speech focus on education:

“Despite the improvements we are seeing in Newark and Camden, I believe we need to take bigger and broader steps to adjust our approach to K-12 education to address the new competitive world we live in. Our school calendar is antiquated both educationally and culturally. Life in 2014 demands something more for our students. It is time to lengthen both the school day and school year in New Jersey.”

“If student achievement is lagging at the exact moment when we need improvement more than ever in order to compete in the world economy, should we not take these steps – every possible step — to boost student achievement?”

“Of course we should.  And one key step is to lengthen the school day and the school year.  So, working with Commissioner Cerf, I will present to you shortly a proposal to increase the length of both the school day and the school year in New Jersey.  This is a key step to improve student outcomes, and boost our competitiveness.  We should do it now.”

Christie’s State of the State is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET.

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