Budget-busting governors earn nation’s highest salaries
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, whose call for vast reductions in public employee compensation have made him one of the Republican Party’s most popular national figures, is the fourth-highest paid governor in the country, according to a study released last week by Stateline.
Christie earns $175,000 per year, receives a $75,000 stipend for expenses, and may use two state-owned residences: a mansion in Princeton and a summer beachfront home in Island Beach State Park. Christie’s calls for “shared sacrifice” to alleviate New Jersey’s budget problems have been a marquee theme of his governorship, but he’s said that any reduction to his own salary would be “of little or no consequence.”
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, who is independently wealthy, has chosen to forgo his salary, the third-highest in the nation for governors. Snyder has taken action that many see as an assault on collective bargaining rights in Michigan.
Coming in fifth is Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s drive to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees, enraging Virginia’s unions. Virginia’s public workers long ago lost such rights.