CEDAR GROVE, NJ - St. Catherine of Siena School eighth-graders attended Gov. Chris Christie’s Town Hall Meeting in Cedar Grove on April 23 and one student had a chance to ask a question of the governor.
Student Ashley Hess was called upon by Christie to ask a question after his speech. “So, you said we have a 3.3 billion dollar problem. You seemed to have proposed a plan that solves this problem,” Hess said. “What flaws, if any, did the legislature find in that plan that caused them to not only walk away, but sue? Do they realize the consequences? And if we don't fix the problem now, will we face larger debt and more consequences in the future?”
Noting it was a good question, Gov. Christie explained that the legislature was reluctant to lose any health care benefits at all, but if cuts weren’t made there was no way to come up with the money to solve the problem. The governor commented that Hess was correct about the consequences of not making cuts now. “If we don’t fix the problem now, the debts will keep growing,” he added.
According to principal Celine Kerwin, the trip was organized by Mary McElroy, director of the New Jersey Network of Catholic School Families to complement the “Loving the Law” elective in which many of the students had participated. Twenty-seven students attended the meeting accompanied by their teacher Carmelyn Barbarito, school representative Sister Mary Clare Weber and several parent chaperones.