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Governor Jon S. Corzine Timeline: 2006

Source: Timeline compiled from media sources including the Star-Ledger and The New York Times




November 8
Senator Jon Corzine is elected Governor of New Jersey, defeating businessman and former State Budget Director Doug Forrester by a 53-44 margin; Democrats maintain control of the Assembly and State Senate

November 16
The StarLedger reports that in a November 4 memo, David Rosen of the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services estimated that the “theoretical budget problem” for the current fiscal year for incoming Governor Corzine could reach $5.1 billion

December 1
Corzine announces he has selected adviser Tom Shea to be his chief of staff; Shea also served as Corzine’s chief of staff in the U.S. Senate

December 8
Corzine announces he will appoint Representative Robert Menendez (D) to the U.S. Senate to complete Corzine’s unexpired term



January 3
Corzine officially begins filling his Cabinet, nominating Nina Mitchell Wells as Secretary of State and naming Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth Adjutant General

January 5
Corzine nominates assistant environmental commissioner and 19-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection

January 8
Corzine embarks on a three-day tour of the state to thank his supporters and the public at large

January 10
Citing the need to “do more with less,” Corzine reduces the size of the governor’s executive staff, notifying over 40 executive staff employees that they will not be needed after he takes over the governorship

January 11
Corzine nominates lawyer and former state public advocate Zulima Farmer as Attorney General

January 12
State Treasurer John McCormac announces that the state’s income tax revenues are higher than projected, reducing the expected budget shortfall, but that Corzine will still face a $3.6 billion shortfall upon taking office

January 13
Corzine nominates Bradley Abelow, a former colleague at Goldman Sachs, as State Treasurer

January 17
Corzine is inaugurated as the 54th Governor of the State of New Jersey

January 25
In a memo, Corzine instructs Cabinet members to prepare for major cuts in all state government operations budgets; the administration also institutes a hiring freeze and predicts staffing reductions of 5-10%

January 27
Corzine confirms that he will not order a special election to fill the U.S. House of Representatives vacancy created when Robert Menendez left to fill what had been Corzine’s seat in the U.S. Senate

February 1
In a break from past protocol, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D) announces that the Assembly will begin searching for budget savings and holding budget hearings before Corzine proposes a budget

John Petillo officially steps down as president of UMDNJ after months of reports of fraud and mismanagement at the school and following a severance negotiation with Corzine

February 17
Corzine formally recommends former national Medicare and Medicaid director Bruce Vladeck to serve as interim president of UMDNJ

February 24
Corzine releases a five-year transportation funding plan that retools and refunds the Transportation Trust Fund; the plan borrows money and adds debt to the fund but does not immediately raise transit fares or the gas tax

February 25
Delivering the Democratic response to President George W. Bush’s weekly radio address, Governor Corzine criticizes the sale of some American port operations to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates

March 6
At a public information session at Rutgers University, Corzine warns that the state is “on the verge of fiscal disaster” and that deep budget cuts and possibly higher taxes will be needed

March 16
Corzine signs an executive order establishing the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, a new Cabinet-level department

March 21
In his first budget address, Corzine cites a need to get New Jersey back on “a sound long-term footing” and proposes raising the sales tax, increasing taxes on specified goods, and calling for $2 billion in spending cuts and freezes, including the elimination of 1,000 state jobs; the budget does not propose raising income taxes

The budget also calls for severing the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) from the Department of Human Services and making it a Cabinet-level department on its own

March 23
Corzine signs a transportation bill that will replenish the Transportation Trust Fund consistent with his proposal of February 24

March 30
Corzine reaches an agreement with the New York Giants and New York Jets to develop a new $1 billion stadium at the Meadowlands

April 11
Corzine unveils a mass transit plan, which includes money for N.J. Transit and commuter ferries

April 17
Corzine signs the School District Fiscal Accountability Act, giving the state additional power to monitor and intervene in financially troubled school districts

In an interview with the Star-Ledger, Corzine indicates frustration with the legislature over its lack of progress on a needle exchange bill and a bill to boost stem cell research

May 2
Following a negative reaction from legislators and voters, Governor Corzine tables a proposal to test self-service gasoline in New Jersey less than a week after he had suggested it in a Statehouse press conference; he emphasizes that it was never an administration priority

May 4
State Treasurer Bradley Abelow announces that income and corporate taxes revenues are below expectations and may lead to a $500 million shortfall in the upcoming budget

May 9
The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that the state can freeze aid to Abbott school districts while the administration works on plans to overhaul the school funding formula, but gives the districts the right to appeal for more funding

May 10
State Senator Wayne Bryant (D), the chairman of the budget committee, says that the Senate will not accept the proposed hospital tax in Corzine’s budget

May 21
Corzine begins a weeklong trip to Asia to boost business ties between New Jersey and east Asia

June 6
Senate President Richard Codey (D) and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D) announce plans to hold a special legislative session in July to address property tax reform

June 9
Under the provisions of a law passed in January and signed by Governor Richard Codey (D), a 13-member commission begins to study the future of the death penalty in New Jersey; the committee’s findings and recommendations will not be binding on the legislature or Corzine

June 14
Speaking at the AFL-CIO’s annual convention, Corzine announces his nomination of acting Labor Commissioner David Socolow to fill the post permanently

June 16
Assembly leaders reportedly tell Corzine that the sales tax increase in the proposed budget is “dead,” leaving the budget in turmoil

June 19
Facing an impasse over a sales tax increase, and emphasizing that there was no alternative, Corzine orders his Cabinet to prepare for the possibility of a government shutdown

June 24
Still searching for a budget compromise, Assembly Democrats release a plan they say will avoid the need for a sales tax increase

June 27
With the budget deadline approaching, Assembly Speaker Roberts unveils a budget plan that will increase some taxes but not the sales tax; Corzine criticizes the plan and threatens a veto

July 1
The Assembly fails to pass a budget before the midnight deadline and Corzine orders a state shutdown, the first in New Jersey history

July 3
Corzine issues an executive order bringing the legislature into special session daily until a new budget is passed

July 5
Atlantic City casinos close for the first time due to the state budget impasse because the casino inspectors required by state law are State employees and not able to be paid during the shutdown

Governor Corzine appoints retired Appellate Division Judge Richard J. Williams to conduct an independent investigation into whether Attorney General Zulima Farber improperly intervened on behalf of her partner at a traffic stop

July 6
Corzine and Assembly Democrats reach a budget agreement to end the state shutdown; the budget will include the one-point increase in the sales tax, with half of the new revenue earmarked to offset property taxes

July 8
The state legislature passes a bill to expand and restructure the governing board of UMDNJ, following a scandal-ridden year that included accusations of Medicaid fraud

Both houses pass a bill to create a new Cabinet-level department, the Department of Children and Families, separating DYFS from the Department of Human Services, as proposed by Corzine in his March Budget Address

July 11
Corzine lays out his agenda for the upcoming special legislative session on property tax reform, urging legislators to take up issues such as municipal consolidation and the school funding formula

Corzine announces that, after a nationwide search, he will nominate acting Education Commissioner Lucille Davy and acting Corrections Commissioner George Hayman to the permanent positions; this completes his Cabinet, in which seven members were held over from the Codey administration

July 14
Corzine’s approval rating improves by 5 points in a Quinnipiac University poll, as voters blame the legislature for the government shutdown by a 3-1 margin

July 28
Corzine unveils an eight-point plan to cut property taxes that includes demanding municipal consolidation, capping annual property tax increases at 4%, scaling back retirement benefits for new state workers, reducing state debt, and changing the school funding formula

August 15
Attorney General Zulima Farber resigns after the special prosecutor determines she violated state ethics rules

August 24
Corzine selects Chief Counsel Stuart Rabner to be the next attorney general, drawing bipartisan praise

September 5
Over the objection of state worker unions, the State Health Benefits Commission votes (3-2) to raise doctor visit and prescription drug copays for teachers, local government workers, and retirees

September 7
Corzine releases his economic strategy plan for New Jersey, including the establishment of two public/private investment partnerships: the Edison Innovation Fund and the New Jersey Urban Fund

September 12
Corzine appoints pediatrician Dr. E. Susan Hodgson to be the state’s child advocate, after amending a law that previously required the child advocate to be an attorney

September 21
Corzine nominates Appellate Division Judge Helen Hoens to the New Jersey Supreme Court and says he will elevate Associate Justice James Zazzali to chief justice when current Chief Justice Deborah Poritz retires in October

November 7
Senator Robert Menendez (D), whom Governor Corzine appointed to the Senate in January to complete Corzine’s own term, wins re-election to a full term, defeating Republican State Senator Tom Kean, Jr., by a 53-45 margin

November 9
Bayer Healthcare announces it will move its world headquarters to New Jersey

November 15
Corzine and Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson issue a ruling cancelling the state’s bear hunt season, previously scheduled for December 4-9

November 28
The administration eliminates 120 jobs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, bringing the number of state jobs cut since Governor Corzine took office to 1,200 for a savings of $54 billion

December 4
Corzine nominates New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia for reappointment to the state Supreme Court giving her lifetime tenure if approved by the legislature

December 11
The State Senate and Assembly pass needle exchange bill strongly backed by Corzine

Approximately 7,000 public workers rally at the State House in Trenton to demand that their benefits not be cut in a plan to reduce property taxes

December 12
Corzine says he will likely not sign a 20% property tax cut favored by the legislature unless the legislature first adopts other reforms such the creation of a state comptroller’s office and a 4% cap on future property tax increases

December 18
Corzine announces that the state will provide $10 million in state funds for embryonic stem cell research and that he will sign a bill providing $270 million for a stem cell institute

December 19
Corzine signs a bill amending the state’s anti-discrimination law to include transgender people

December 21
Governor Corzine signs bill allowing gay couples in New Jersey to form “civil unions”

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