tv New Jersey Governors Forum CSPAN October 10, 2017 1:07am-2:04am EDT
next, new jersey governor hosted by the caucus educational corporation. ♪ >> welcome to "new jersey's next governor." i am steve adubato. we're coming to you from north new jersey. for the next hour, i will sit with the two major party candidates for governor in new jersey. this broadcast is being seen across a number of networks. pbs stations, njtv, whyy, and we are also one verizon and fires
surrogate, you can also catch up on facebook @steveadubatophd. and we are seen across the country on c-span. right now, we are joined by the republican candidate for governor, lieutenant governor kim guadagno. welcome. >> thank you. thank you for having me. it is good to have you here. and we will be joined by the democratic candidate for governor, phil murphy, in a bit. first, we have a report from our partners. >> kim guadagno defeated a strong opponent to win the republican nomination. for nearly eight years, she has been the lieutenant governor. the first person ever to hold that office. before that, she was monmouth county sheriff. and before that, a federal prosecutor. she is running on a plan to cut property taxes. her so-called circuit-breaker plan would cap the school
portion of a homeowner's tax bill at 5% of income. about that, the state would pay the school district directly. the average savings will be $800 per homeowner, says guadagno. cost to the state will be $1.5 billion, she says. her opponent questions where that money would come from. she says $1 billion would come from natural revenue growth, $250 million would come from overfunded school districts. guadagno is also running on the idea of electing the state attorney general instead of it being a gubernatorial appointment. carlos rendo would be her lieutenant governor running mate. from natural revenue growt0 , million would come from overfunded school districts. guadagno is also running on the idea of electing the state attorney general instead of it being a gubernatorial appointment. carlos rendo would be her lieutenant governor running mate. her strategy is to hammer home the tax issue and hope it does for her what it did for christie years ago. her achilles heel is her closeness to chris christie, who has become terribly unpopular. she has tried to separate on him on issues like the state gas tax
hike and state house renovation but she was his number two, and , democrats will not let voters ignore that. with donald trump also unpopular in new jersey, it is a tough climate for a republican candidate for governor. steve: by the way, we had thousands of questions that came to us on a variety of forms. property taxes. describe your plan in more detail. lt. gov. guadagno: the number one problem in new jersey is property taxes. i can go to anyone in the state and ask people what the number one problem they have, and it is property taxes. they cannot afford to live in new jersey. they are all planning their exit. we need to address the number one problem on their minds. my property tax plan would simply cap property taxes at 5% of household income.
basically though it's a people a hundred dollars of savings on average. steve: what happens if it goes over? lt. gov. guadagno: what goes over? steve: if it goes over that amount? i want to understand something. it caps the increase? lt. gov. guadagno: no. you never pay more than 5% of your income on property taxes. steve: never pay more? what if a locality says we need more for schools, transportation? lt. gov. guadagno: the school gets reimbursed. they send a bill to trenton, and trenton reimburses. for the difference in the amount. steve: you sure it is the number one issue? >> absolutely. i defy anybody who shows me any information that says anything different. people cannot afford to live here anymore. i have been here for eight years. bringing businesses here for eight years. the biggest problem i hear from people is that they cannot afford to live here anymore.
when they get to be my age, they start to plan on how they will move out of new jersey. this average savings of $800 per year will allow them to stay here. $800 may not be a lot for phil murphy, who is a millionaire, but for the people i have met, it is a lot of money. steve: let's talk about school funding. the school funding issue, from the state money to local school districts, has to do with property taxes. lt. gov. guadagno: the school funding plan starts with 5% of household income. we will help the people who need the most help now. we will save everybody about $800 of school property taxes right now, the first day we walk into office. why do i think that is going to work?
we pulled a page out of a democrat playbook in massachusetts and illinois. it is pretty simple. make sure we are getting our money's worth. let's make sure every penny we spend is being spent for the kids, getting them an efficient education. i have not heard anything from phil murphy except that he will fully fund the school funding formula. steve: what is wrong with that? it is a great idea if you can afford it. the question is how do you afford all of the things phil murphy has promised? everybody i know what love to have free pre-k. i had to pay for my sons to go to pre-k. because i could afford it, it was great. everybody wants free pre-k, but they cannot afford it. steve: what about people who cannot afford that pre-k? and we know how important pre-k is to a child's development. lt. gov. guadagno: we are already funding it. we had pilot programs in place for years. we just added more money to it.
$25 million -- it is a start. the question is the question of priorities. if you make new jersey more affordable by keeping taxes low, more people would be able to stay here, get better jobs here, and be able to afford living here. steve: we are involved in an initiative that tries to raise awareness around issues and challenges that babies and infants are facing, called "right from the start." is there more state funding reimbursing childcare centers? from a public policy point of view, we have had legislators coming out saying we do not find -- fund enough to those folks in terms of reimbursement for child care at that age. lt. gov. guadagno: i do not disagree at all. as a working mom, i have to sometimes make a decision that, if my babysitter did not show up, do i go to work or does my husband go to work? it will he does it really was a
rock, paper, scissors type of thing. working mothers need affordable, reliable daycare. one of the ways we do that is give tax credits. we have possible spending -- we have flexible spending programs. i took advantage of one. it saved me money over time. but we need to do better to make sure our working mothers have what they need. one of the other ways to do it is make sure they can afford to pay their taxes. it all comes back to the same issue. this election will be a referendum on taxes. steve: property taxes, income taxes? lt. gov. guadagno: taxes, taxes, taxes. phil murphy promised an additional $75 million to spending. we added it up on our website, and the other day, he added another $200 million or $400 million because his plan for free community college education keeps going up and up. to $1 billion of additional taxes.
i believe he is going to spend more. people in new jersey understand one thing -- their pocketbook. it is not a republican issue or democrat issue. it is an issue of whether or not they can stay here, keep a roof over their heads and food on their table. steve: by the way, ambassador murphy will join us in the other -- second half hour, or the other half hour of this program, and he will have an opportunity not just to defend himself but make his case. in a very civil discourse. by the way, your family, describe it. lt. gov. guadagno: my family is fabulous. i moved to new jersey after moving all around the country, because my husband's family was born and raised here. i knew my family wasn't going to move around the country. i know what happens if you lose your job. i know what happens to the family, what happens to community. we need to make sure families stay together and stay in new
jersey. the only way to make sure that happens, frankly, is with lower property taxes in new jersey. i have a proud first lieutenant in the air force. the ultimate public school education in the u.s. is the air force. the second child is about to graduate from college. he is finishing this year. his last year of college. he already has a job, going to work in the city. and the last child is 17. he is the ultimate equalizer. keeps your feet planted on the ground. steve: hardest job in the world, being mom or governor? [laughter] lt. gov. guadagno: i will tell you the hardest job is being a mother. i am a working mom. they do not care what you do during the day. their laundry needs to be done, clothes need to be folded, food needs to be on the table. steve: being a dad is challenging as well, but point well taken. how about this -- pensions. had a lot of conversations about public employee pensions. these questions came from njtv,
everyone -- by the way, thanks folks who follow us on twitter. so many great questions. people simply ask how would you deal with, solve, improve the pension crisis in new jersey? lt. gov. guadagno: first thing i would do is treat it honestly. anybody who says this pension is not broken is lying to you. anybody who says they can fully fund pensions in new jersey is lying to you. you can sit down with the njea as i have -- steve: the new jersey education association. lt. gov. guadagno: thank you. hiring teachers right now and telling them their pensions will not be there. we need to sit down and talk thoughtfully and honestly about it. there is a plan now. i think we also have to separate things out. law enforcement pensions are almost fully funded. steve: why separate them from teachers?
lt. gov. guadagno: because teachers and cwa are a little more underfunded. steve: communications workers of america. lt. gov. guadagno: right. so we need to separate them out. it is their pension. they should manage it the way they want to. as long as taxpayers are not on the hook for this. and then we need to sit down with the teachers. and i told this to them when i went to talk to them to endorse me for governor. i said let's sit and talk about this problem and fix it once and for all. they endorsed phil murphy before they talked to me. steve: that is their right. but that being said, they are an underwriter of our programming here, public broadcasting. but i want to clarify there has
been a commitment about the state fully funding the tension situation. and underfunding it for years and years. governor christie has spent more than many governors, but they are way behind and still underfunded. what is wrong with saying the state will do its job? lt. gov. guadagno: the state should do its job. the problem is paying for it. the question is there are $500 million in pension payment. another $10 billion in health care. $15 billion. we have -- steve: as a whole? lt. gov. guadagno: if we make a full pension claimant next year, it is $5 billion for the pension. another $10 billion for the -- steve: by the way, we are in the hole. >> it is more than that. steve: it is more than that? what happens if it does not get resolved? lt. gov. guadagno: it is going to be resolved. that is what it is going to be resolved. steve: what would you do? lt. gov. guadagno: i would negotiate like management should negotiate. for example, pension reform package. take a look at it.
it is online. you can get it. even pull phil murphy's pension package and take some of those regulations. -- recommendations. steve: you say we are going to sit and negotiate -- that is great. one concrete idea that would improve the situation? lt. gov. guadagno: go to generics on the health care side. steve: instead of prescription drugs? lt. gov. guadagno: right. instead of having the gold, platinum standard for health care benefits, let the labor union take a look at where they could find savings in health care. i am told, and the burn commission says, we could save $2 billion. take that $2 billion and put it in pension. steve: if you want to engage the lieutenant governor, you can find her website. this is a one-hour special we are doing on new jersey's next governor. the lieutenant governor is here now. her democratic opponent, ambassador phil murphy, is going
to be here as well. we are on a variety of pbs stations, on the radio. fios and also nationally on c-span. a couple of other topics. health care. who knows what is going to go on in washington as it relates to the repeal of obamacare, the affordable care act? where do you see new jersey right now in the way we are providing health care for those who need it most? and to what degree are you concerned about the president continuing on this track to repeal and replace obamacare? lt. gov. guadagno: i am very concerned about where we are going in the future. of course i am. there has been discussion about pulling the rug out for people who rely on that insurance. a couple years ago, when we agreed to the waiver, we signed up 532,000 more people to the affordable care act. we cannot pull the rug out from underneath them.
i am confident people are working in good faith to make sure that our 533,000 additional insurers will get the insurance they need, that they will have the existing coverage, pre-existing condition coverage, and also afford to pick their own doctors, make an affordable plan. we need to do that. that is where we need to go to our congressman. i do not care what side of the aisle they are on. and make sure they do that in washington. and this is not the president. it is everybody. steve: republicans in congress. lt. gov. guadagno: right. a balanced government can sometimes be a problem. in new jersey, if we do not have a republican governor, we will not have a balanced government. we will have imbalanced government. the legislature in the charge of we will havethe legislature in the charge of -- we will have the legislature in the charge of the democrats and the governor in the charge of democrats, we will not have a balanced government. steve: you do not think it will produce gridlock? lt. gov. guadagno: in new
jersey, i do not think it has produced gridlock. steve: people will decide. here is an interesting issue connected to that. donald trump. you are here a few months back. a few more months to examine his presidency. your views, lieutenant governor, on the president's presidency and how well he is doing. particularly for people like the folks in jersey. lt. gov. guadagno: i am looking at how washington impacts new jersey. a governor from new jersey will have to go to washington and work with that president. from that point of view, we have one trillion reasons to get along with donald trump, meaning the money he has promised to put in infrastructure. we need to be more business friendly, not just in new jersey but also nationally.
we need to be more competitive. i like some of what i am seeing in terms of taxes. i would not like to see anything that would hurt new jersey. but the fact that we are changing our tax structure -- anything that helps grow our economy here in new jersey, anything this president does that helps the people of new jersey, i will fight for. steve: and that. as it relates to daca, these dreamers -- there are 22,000 new jersey residents. people call them kids. some are very young, some are 20, 24 -- the president saying at first, they have to go. we do not know where that will go. where do you think that should go? lt. gov. guadagno: we should honor the deal we made with the dreamers.
we cannot and should not take out -- steve: sorry for interrupting. why is there even discussion about that? lt. gov. guadagno: i do not know. you will have to ask washington. steve: it is not washington. it is the trump presidency the , white house. lt. gov. guadagno: i think it is washington. both sides. immigration is a problem on the federal side that has not been fixed in years because, well beyond this president and the president before that, i think it is a problem that needs to be fixed. all of us have to go to our congressional leaders and tell them what i have said. the 20,000 or so dreamers in new jersey -- we will not destroy families in new jersey. they did not have a choice in coming to new jersey. i do not think the right word is "save," but the problem needs to be addressed in washington -- steve: the immigration issue. what about the rule of law -- they are not supposed to be here. president obama had an executive order where they were supposed to run out. rule of law, you said. and you know law better than most. lt. gov. guadagno: i have said
it many times. 20,000 people in new jersey who came here as a family member, whether it was at two or now that they are 40, that we will not tear apart. we will never advocate for that kind of draconian response. i think there are 800,000 leverages, because that is the number across the country, for congress, democrats and republicans alike, to deal with this problem. that is the leverage we need to finally deal with this problem. why should people be worried about whether they will be deported or not if we can fix it? lt. gov. guadagno: i choose to believe that we will fix it, because lots of people here, not just in new jersey. steve: yes or no to -- by the way, this came from tv.
the question kept coming up. sanctuary cities. where is the lieutenant governor on sanctuary cities? lt. gov. guadagno: very clear. i am a former federal and state law enforcement official. a former sheriff. i believe sanctuary states are bad for law enforcement. all the way around. my opponent has said he wants sanctuary states. he wants to make the entire state -- steve: what is wrong with that ?steve: what is wrong with that? -- steve: what is wrong with that? lt. gov. guadagno: it puts law enforcement at risk. it is not going to stop federal immigration officers from coming in and enforcing federal law. this is where my legal background comes in, i suppose. we do not have the authority to stop immigration officials from coming in and doing whatever federal law allows them to do. all it does is put a target on the backs of the people in new jersey who believe that they are
being protected because of sanctuary cities or states. secondly, a law enforcement officer is at risk. it is a terrible policy. if you want to fix immigration, go to washington and fix the immigration problem. if we do not, we are putting everyone at risk. the people who will be led to believe they are safe in new jersey as a result of a sanctuary state, and law enforcement. the one that scares me is law enforcement officials. what you are saying is local law enforcement officials will not provide backup for other law enforcement officials. unacceptable. steve: to be clear, we will have ambassador phil murphy, the other part of this one hour special. how about this. legalizing marijuana? this question came particularly from nj.com. it was flooded with hundreds of questions around this question. lt. gov. guadagno: the only explanation i have had from phil murphy about why we need to legalize marijuana is to generate revenue.
i can think of any number of ways to generate revenue that will not in legalizing marijuana and putting a whole generation of children at risk. i have a 17-year-old son. i not saying that he does marijuana, but if we legalize marijuana, he will have the opportunity. i do not want to give him the opportunity. if there is a risk that marijuana is a gateway drug, i think we can find other ways to generate revenue. in fact, i am sure of it. and to go to legalize marijuana first to balance the budget to pay for any number of the $75 billion worth of extra spending phil murphy wants to do i think it's irresponsible. steve: who says that he's first? a lot of other states have done it, it could potentially bring in revenue? lt. gov. guadagno: phil murphy said it. steve: he said first, like that was the primary part?
lt. gov. guadagno: ask him in half an hour. steve: i will. >> you will see. he thinks one of the ways to balance this budget and pay for these things he has promised, all of the people in the primary, is to legalize marijuana. i say we stop the state house renovation -- steve: the one the governor wants? lt. gov. guadagno: that is a $300 million price tag right there. steve: you disagree with the governor on that? lt. gov. guadagno: yes. steve: you know something about transportation, because you drive on the roads of new jersey. we are congested. we have problems. can i ask you a question -- i will ask you a question. twitter and facebook and others on this one as well. the question that came in was the port authority of new york and new jersey -- how much impact does it play on our life and what would you do, because the governors of both states -- a big impact on the port authority in our lives. what would you do differently?
lt. gov. guadagno: i would continue to get new jersey's fair share of what is going on. one example -- if we had not put $1 billion of port authority money into the bayonne bridge and raised it, a feat of engineering -- it really was amazing to see the bridge raised high enough to bring in super tankers. if new jersey had not fought to get the $1 billion to raise that bridge, the port would have been closed. steve: by the way, the port runs that bridge. we should be clear that is why it is an issue. i just want to make sure people understand that. so you are saying new jersey gets the shaft? lt. gov. guadagno: i am saying we need to continue to fight to get our fair share. if there is not a strong governor who understands the need to do something like raise
the bridge so we can continue to bring in panama canal supertankers like you saw last week, we are going to lose an entire ecosystem. we cannot afford to do that. i do not think there is a lot of debate on that one. i think any governor in new jersey has to pay close attention to making sure the money that goes to the port authority is spent on port projects or projects that have to do with transportation and new jersey gets its fair share. steve: yes or no on the gateway tunnel? lt. gov. guadagno: absolutely. steve: critically important? lt. gov. guadagno: yes. steve: i want to thank everyone for the questions you posed. smart, thoughtful, making our job very, very easy. probably the last question i want to ask you. the biggest reason why your governorship would be different than your opponents if he were elected is? lt. gov. guadagno: taxes. steve: does it go back to taxes? lt. gov. guadagno: taxes. this is a referendum on taxes. if you want a goldman sachs millionaire who has promised to
raise your taxes, vote for phil murphy. i am a working mom, a former sheriff, who has created jobs in this state the last eight years, who understands that if we increase taxes on the most tax people in new jersey, those taxes will go away. i have pledged not to run again if i do not lower taxes. steve: i thank lieutenant governor kim guadagno for joining us. all the best to you and your family. we will be back right after this with phil murphy. >> continue the conversation on @steveadubato and visit us online at steveadubato.org. if you would like to express an opinion, the mill us. steve: welcome back to "new jersey's next governor." we are now joined by the democratic candidate for governor, ambassador phil murphy. welcome.
it is great to have you. before we go to a whole range of questions, we had a brief report from our partners, njtv. >> phil murphy has been running hard for governor for nearly the years. he defeated three substantial democrats in the primary. his career was mostly spent at goldman sachs, which made him wealthy. he poured $20 million of his money into the primary but is taking public money for the general election. four years as ambassador to germany under president obama. he also served as democratic national finance chair and a board member of the naacp. murphy is a progressive. he would hike the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, promote affordable housing, and create a public bank that would bring state held funds elsewhere here.
his opponents warned that he will raise taxes. he proposes $1.3 billion in new taxes, $600 million from hiking the tax on income over $1 million, 400 million from closing corporate loopholes, and $300 million from taxing marijuana sales. he has talked about a new tax to support transportation, but without specifics. murphy chose assemblywoman sheila oliver to be his lieutenant governor running mate. his strategy is to campaign vigorously and run out the clock. most polls have him in the lead by double digits. his achilles' heel is the 23 years he spent at goldman sachs and the possibility that voters are resentful of wall street millionaires. steve: as always, we want to thank our partner of the statehouse press corps and our partners at njtv news. we are seen nationally on c-span and also on public stations wnet, whyy, on facebook, etc.
let's get to the issue of taxes. this $1.3 billion in new taxes. break that down for us, particularly the part that helps property taxpayers. amb. murphy: we have to understand what the state of the state is. this is among the weakest economies in the united states. we have in down graded 11 straight times. household income has not only lagged over the years, it has gone down. we need a stronger and fairer economy that works for all. part of that is making sure the folks who can afford it step up and have tax fairness. that is the wealthiest of owners. we have some corporate loopholes we can close.
we can legalize, we think responsibly, marijuana. far more importantly, we need to reprioritize what we are already spending. for instance, we have put out over $8 billion in corporate tax break for large corporations. at the same time, we have underfunded public education by $9 billion. we have canceled big infrastructure projects and underfunded others. we reduced state nj transit by 90%. it is not just a question of where can we get more revenue, it is how do we reprioritize what we are spending? by the way in addition to that, , let's grow the economy again. we have left billions of dollars of economic activity on the table the last seven and a half years. there is no reason we cannot reboot those economies we used to dominate. steve: we have been asking questions for the last month. these questions came from am970,
njtv, from fios, but the marijuana question. why are you so confident we can legalize it, control it, manage it, and not promote any new problems as relates to drugs? amb. murphy: the first lens, the most important one, is the social justice lens. we have the largest white-nonwhite gap of those incarcerated in new jersey. there are many reasons, but the biggest one is low priority drug crimes. that is the first lens. it is not enough. steve: is it the primary reason? >> absolutely. it is a social justice reason. we have enormous inequity in the state. it is part of comprehensive criminal justice reform. the second point i would make is that i am glad we are not the
first state we are doing it. -- that is doing it. other states have on before us and have done some things right, some things wrong. steve: what have we learned? amb. murphy: we learned distribution issues, learned its impact on medical marijuana, which this demonstration has -- administration has gummed up with folks who desperately need access for medical conditions. you have colorado and now nevada, washington, oregon -- we are studying those examples to make sure we do it right. just doing it is not enough. doing it right is important. steve: go back to the tax issue. what is fascinating to us -- again, insider nj. the issue came from there, fios, facebook, my twitter. by the way, people have been great with questions. this question is interesting. it has to do with your tax policy.
some on those sites have asked if you raise taxes on the wealthiest new jerseyans -- by the way, how do you define that? amb. murphy: millionaires and up. steve: are you afraid of losing those folks who say "i do not want to be there because i am getting overtaxed" and then lose all of our tax revenue? amb. murphy: you want a state that is welcoming to all folks. we are the most diverse state in the nation. folks over the last seven and a half plus years, with all respect to the property tax cap, property taxes are up. employee-based health care premiums are over 40%. folks rightfully say, "wait a minute, where is all this money going?" i would say pull out your property tax bill and look at what portion of that is public education. that has been underfunded. steve: would you fully fund -- i do not want to get into the weeds. go to the ambassador's website to find out about his plan. but would you fully fund based
on what the state formulas that is supposed to be there? and how do we afford that? amb. murphy: we would. let's step back and say what does that mean? there is one school funding formula in our state that has been blessed by the supreme court, i believe in 2008. it was viewed as a national model, because it away from money chasing blocks, or districts -- steve: urban districts. amb. murphy: yes. instead of following kids and asking the questions you need to ask recognizing not every kid is , born with the same circumstances or luck. like?oes your household do you have special education needs, etc.? build that from the bottom up. that, to me, is a smart way to approach public education. steve: would those come from -- what those dollars come from your tax -- amb. murphy: that is a big part
of where. not just from the revenues we are talking about what we prioritize it. that is the bigger piece here. you mentioned $1.3 million. it is a $35 billion budget. it is not just where revenues are coming from as listed, it is what are you doing to reprioritize kids. steve: is there an area where you say, you know what, we do not really need to be spending the way we are spending? reprioritizing is one thing. but specifically, the devil is in the details. amb. murphy: i will give you a few that come to mind. one is the corporate tax breaks. we are sending them out at a rate of many hundreds of millions of dollars a year. steve: what about people who say we would not get them otherwise if we did not do that? amb. murphy: we have to be smarter about that. should tax incentives be part of the package, yes. but this administration has used them as one blunt instrument. let's be smarter. we are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars out there, and we are not enforcing it.
there are deals -- we need to be smarter about that. we have out of network health care loopholes that are costing individuals and the state money. we have hedge funds managing our pension assets and charging us huge fees. steve: are we getting the shaft? amb. murphy: i think we are. steve: how would you change those deals? amb. murphy: i would get out of hedge funds managing pensions. when that asset class was first born, they charged an arm and a leg, but they returned a lot. big profit. today, they still charge an arm and a leg, but profits have gone away. this is not a passing phase. this is a long-term trend. there are a lot smarter ways to manage your pension assets that
are cheaper. the state of nevada, the city of new york, there is no reason we should not be doing it. steve: i want to ask you a question. >> please. steve your family. : who is your family? can you give me the "reader's digest" version? [laughter] amb. murphy: i am married to tammy murphy for 23 years. she is my partner in everything. she is out there as hard as i am every single day. we are blessed with four children. josh is a sophomore in college. emma is taking a gap year from college. charlie is a junior in high school. sam is a freshman. we also have three dogs and a bird. for you keeping track at home on the scorecard. steve: a busy household. amb. murphy: busy and noisy.
steve: speaking of young children, we have an initiative that deals with infants and babies and the kinds of things that state projects can do. it is a public awareness campaign we are doing. what, if anything, can the state do as it relates to those babies and infants, particularly as it relates to child care? amb. murphy: we have stood for a couple things. one is we have stood for a child and dependent care tax credit, which would allow folks to get a bigger tax credit to allow them to go out and work and feel like they can get someone to take care of their kids. right now, we have too many folks faced with that horrible dilemma, i desperate to work to am put food on the table, but i cannot afford to leave kids alone. we stand strongly for that. you asked about kids, but the same thing can be said about parents and grandparents. my mother-in-law passed away not
long ago -- my father-in-law was her caregiver. so i would not only like to have a child and dependent tax credit, but also a caregiver tax credit for parents and grandparents. another thing we stand for is we want to get to universal pre-k as fast as we can. steve: can we afford it? amb. murphy: i think we can. i think we have to face it in over several years. i ask rhetorically, who said it was a right to have public education between the ages of 5 and 18 and not before 5 and not after 18? we want to extend both ends. we stand for free community college, which is cheaper than universal pre-k, but something we can get to relatively quickly. and universal pre-k for all. steve: by the way, we are taping on the 19th of september. i woke up this morning and saw a variety of papers that the ambassador was calling for free education at our community
colleges. amb. murphy: correct. steve: and there are great community colleges in the state. why did you do that and what do you say to people who say "great idea, but who will pay for it?" amb. murphy: turns out this one is, in the scheme of things -- first of all, this is an investment. we have an administration that would lead you to believe money gets thrown out the window. where do my property taxes, income taxes go? when you are seeing underfunded public education, underfunded infrastructure, those are the correct questions. this is an investment. because the federal government play such a big role in community colleges, this is probably a couple hundred million dollars we think we can phase in over a couple of years. why there? because if we are successful in reigniting the road that has been lost under this
administration in the innovation and infrastructure economies, it will not just be phd's and four-year college grads, that linchpin, that population will be important to fill those jobs. so we think it is a very good return on investment. steve: these questions around pension-related issues come in from facebook, twitter, wnet's website, njtv's website, fios, and others. the public employee pension situation is terrible at best. potentially a crisis. you had history where you were on the pension commission? amb. murphy: yes, i served under governor codey. steve: should the state fully fund public employee pensions? again, where with those dollars come from? amb. murphy: the answer is yes, period. it is a matter of trust. we are a state that used to be respected and trusted. if you are a public employee who has been left at the altar or
you are a reaching-- rating agency that has been downgraded 11 straight times or a young , kid. we lead the state in exporting high school kids. can't you keep more of our kids home? we have thoughts and ideas around that. we must regain our trust. the trust in this state. steve: what does that have to do with pension? amb. murphy: we want to be known as a state where a deal is a deal. steve: how do people understand what the "deal," as you it was and is and how it is not being kept? amb. murphy: fully funding the pension obligation. i chaired this commission 12 years ago. first, no more pension holidays. even 12 years ago. the state has been kicking this can down the road going on 20 years, since the 1990's. the cumulative impact is now almost overwhelming.
at some point you have to say stop, enough. we are good for our word. we will pay and stand up for our obligations. i do not think you get there next monday, but you have to show transparently and deliver -- deliberately you will get there sooner than later. steve: by the way, this special being seen nationally on c-span, on wnet, whyy, fios, also on am970. lots of different places. one of the things that kept coming up, and the lieutenant governor talked about this is , that we want to fully fund the pension as well. but she argues we should sit down with public employees and renegotiate, particularly when it comes to pension but also for health care benefits. amb. murphy: that is the cadillac plan. if you and i struck a deal and it was over a course of 20 years, and i welched on my end
of the deal, and years later, i said could you make concessions, and when you do, i will get around to doing my end of the deal. steve: what if you were running out of money? absolutely we can find the money. steve: i know that is what you if the money is not there, you say? amb. murphy: i say the stewardship of this economy over the past seven and a half years has been underwhelming by any measure. we have left tens of billions of dollars of economic activity on the table. probably $2 billion or $3 billion of state revenue that could happen put to funding our pensions. we need strong stewardship of our economy that finds that money. that not only talks about where we can get tax equity but reprioritize what we are already
spending and grows the pie. we need a stronger and fair economy that works not just for some but for every new jersey family. steve: you can listen to us on the radio. we are talking with ambassador phil murphy, the democratic candidate for governor. the election is november 7. amb. murphy: please vote. steve: let's nationalize. you were here, ambassador, right where you are sitting in this beautiful studio, and i asked about donald trump in the primary. i said what grade? it was not a good grade. you went further than that. you have had some time to see this presidency. today, you say? amb. murphy: underwhelming. i mean i do not see leadership , that we need. i see lack of clarity on moral authority. i see a herky-jerky, one-day-to-the-next impulse. steve: did charlottesville bother you? amb. murphy: charlottesville
ed me a lot. as a dad, american, former national board member of the naacp, former u.s. ambassador to germany. on moral authority, it is pass-fail. you cannot wiggle one position to the next. i hope we can find common ground. the president has spoken a good game on infrastructure investment. we desperately need the federal government to put that down gatewayon building the -- steve: has to be done? amb. murphy: has to be done. steve: let people know why. amb. murphy: there has not been a new tunnel under the hudson in over 100 years. there was a tunnel project up for years, but the governor canceled that.
the arc tunnel. steve: they said it was not a good idea. amb. murphy: there was a wide view that it was not perfect, but it was a heck of a lot closer to perfect than to something that should have been canceled. we are paying enormous consequences to the cancellation of that. next up, we have the gateway project. this is a different version of arc tunnel.el -- the tunnel would have been opening next year, but we are now eight to 10 years away, and we need the federal government. the obama administration committed half of it. i think that is about $12 billion. we need the trump administration to do the same. the rest will be funded by new
york, new jersey, the port authority. steve: many folks on nj.com and on insider nj wanted to know how would you, if you are governor, dramatically improve nj transit? amb. murphy: start by funding it fully and putting the right people in leadership positions. i ask this question a lot. if you are the fourth smallest state geographically in the nation, which we are, and if you sit next to the largest market in the world, you would think if you screwed everything else up, the one thing you would get right is commuter rail. we have proven otherwise in this administration. so fully funded, put serious, competent leadership in place. stop crossing wires between the operating budget and the capital budget, including very important safety programs. let's make the consumer experience a satisfying one. they are paying 36% more to ride
nj transit during the christie administration then they were at the beginning of it. it is all of those steps. we believe we can take them and we must take them. steve: let's go back nationally. on am970, facebook, twitter, the question kept getting asked about daca. there are 20,000 dreamers in new jersey. it is confusing, as we do this program in late september, with things are in washington. -- as to where things are in washington. what do you think should happen in washington to solve the immigration question? amb. murphy: these kids are every bit as american as my four kids. i find it outrageous, unacceptable, un-american, that they are being shown the door. steve: the president says he does not want to show them the door.
amb. murphy: it depends on the day of the week. he said he did, then he did not. i hope cooler heads, american values, prevail. these are our most precious and come in many cases, brightest assets. 22,000 in the state. someone told me they pay $60 million or so in taxes. over 90% of them are educated or are going to school or are working. it is an extraordinary group of folks. steve: by the way, the rule of law thing -- people say we have to have the rule of law dictate here. president obama, executive order, he let them stay here, but that is not really the law, law. you say? amb. murphy: he hides behind an attorney general who is one of the most anti-dreamer public officials appointed in the united states. steve: should sessions go? amb. murphy: i do not know if sessions should go or not, but they should not take it out on dreamers.
let's open our doors wide. we are the beacon. people should want to still look up to our country and our values and say that is a place we want to be. we want to bring our kids up in america. and in new jersey, i hope. steve: sanctuary cities. the lieutenant governor has a clear point of view. i want you to talk about sanctuary cities. amb. murphy: i wish we would not have to talk about it. i thought hillary clinton would be elected president of the united states and we would not be having this. and we will do whatever it takes. i think we will look back at this time in history and say governors will not have mattered more. because there is not a lot getting done in washington. we will need governors who stand up with a steel backbone and push back on health care bills that would ruin our state, tax plans that ruin our state, and stand up on behalf on dreamers. if we need to be a sanctuary
state, that is what we will be. we need governors to have a steel backbone and say, mr. president, you will not do that in the great day of new jersey. steve: compared to another person who would be elected governor, the biggest difference would be? amb. murphy: the biggest fact is that i grew up poor. my dad did not get out of high school. my mom did. i worked under the table until i was 13. we do not have two nickels to rub together, but i was happy. that informs me today. why was that the case then, and why is that not the case for a kid in in poverty or in the middle class? because the deal is if you went to school and stayed out of trouble and got good grades, you are doing better than mom and
dad. that is not the case for kids today. this is an abstract. i want to lift those kids up. i want to govern the state for them and their kids. steve: ambassador, thank you for joining us. we also want to thank the lieutenant governor for joining us. thank you. we appreciate it. we also want to thank our partners at public broadcasting njtv, whyy, fios 1 news, c-span, thank you for joining us. on facebook as well. remember this -- the election is tuesday, november 7. make sure you get out to vote, because democracy is not a spectator sport. i am steve adubato. >> c-span's washington journal live every day. coming up tuesday morning, los -- on the the clarity
priority the white house speaks from congress in exchange for allowing dreamers to remain in the u.s. the director of the harvard it -- research center discusses the deadly mass shooting in las vegas and how gun violence should be considered a public health issue. former c.i.a. officer deputy division chief for korea talks about north korea's outreach and other republican-leaning people to gain insight into president trump's thinking into north korea. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> tuesday, the candidates -- in the first official debate before next month's elections. and debate between the murphy and lieutenant governor live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two.
this year's devcon security conference in las vegas included a voter hacking village where security researchers were encouraged to explore vulnerabilities in voting machines used in u.s. elections. a team completed the task in minutes. tuesday discussion on the findings of the trial hosted by the atlantic and devcon. -- in bristol, virginia. -- in bristol, virginia.