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July 23, 2010; Source: The Trentonian | Sometimes, little governmental decisions tell you a boatload about what’s going on (or not) in the minds of top officials.  New Jersey governor Chris Christie last week vetoed legislation that would have funded women’s health clinics, health insurance for low-income adults, and tax credits for homebuyers.

Although the state’s $29.4 billion budget had not included funding for these items, legislators said that they found $7.5 million in unused money that could have restored funding for the women’s health clinics.  The Governor declined to agree, questioning the “legitimacy” of the funding source.  The health insurance would have cost an additional $24.5 million and the tax credits $100 million.

Maybe Governor Christie could have debated the homebuyers tax credits as potentially assisting people who don’t need the subsidy or in the end benefiting sellers and brokers rather than purchasers.  But the health insurance and the women’s health clinics were small items that would have helped people clearly in need.  The Governor’s veto in this case appears to be less a fiscal decision than a social value statement.—Rick Cohen