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Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) today released the following statement on Governor Christie’s 2011 State of the State Address:

“It’s been painfully clear throughout the Governor’s first year in office that we are living in two very distinct and separate New Jerseys.

In Chris Christie’s New Jersey, he thinks he can say ‘buck up’ and deal with my painful budget cuts and working and middle class families will simply fall in line without missing a beat. In the other New Jersey – the reality the rest of us live in – families are paying more for less and systematically being forced out of their way of life.

“Working class women have lost access to critical healthcare. Seniors have lost their property tax rebates and the working poor have seen their Earned Income Tax Credit cut while the state’s wealthiest received a tax break. Vital after-school programs have been slashed, while transit fares have been hiked. Meanwhile, our unemployment rate remains alarmingly high and the Governor seems content with that.

“This year cannot be about more of the same.

“This week the Legislature finished passing a package of roughly 30 bills designed to create real and lasting jobs and stimulate long-term economic growth. The fate of New Jerseyans everywhere is now in the Governor’s hands.

“If Governor Christie truly cares about turning New Jersey around, he will sign this package into law and he will do it quickly. We are now on year two of the Christie agenda and residents cannot afford to wait any longer.”