- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced a measure that would raise salaries for legislative staffers, judges and Gov. Chris Christie’s appointees, while also letting the governor profit from a book.

State law forbids the governor and state officers from being paid for published works. The new measure introduced Monday night would allow it, pending approval from the state ethics commission.

A spokesman for the governor wasn’t immediately available to comment on whether the Republican governor plans to write a memoir in his last year in office.

Democratic state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who Christie has feuded with, said that Christie should resign if he wants to write a book and shouldn’t “profit on the taxpayers’ time.”

“The Legislature should not change the law to benefit the governor who has been missing in action for years while he pursued his political ambitions leaving the state rudderless,” Lesniak said in a statement.

The legislation is expected to come up for committee votes in the Democratic-controlled Legislature on Thursday and could potentially be approved as early as Monday, lawmakers’ final voting day of the year.

The legislation would raise the allowance for lawmakers to pay their staffers by $30,000 to $140,000. It would allow Christie to raise his department heads’ salaries from $141,000 to as much as $175,000.

Judges would get 3 percent raises in 2017 and 2018, and the state’s county prosecutors would also get pay increases. They currently make $165,000, but would see that go up to $175,000 by 2018.


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