New Jersey legislature sends $32.9B budget to Gov. Chris Christie
Democratic leaders are sounding less than enthusiastic about the state budget that cleared the state Assembly and Senate on Monday.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate's budget committee, Paul Sarlo, of Bergen County, said he's not "overly thrilled" with the plan. Republicans said the plan is fiscally responsible.
Sarlo said Gov. Chris Christie's power over the budget process left little wiggle room since the governor certifies revenues on which the spending is based and has the power to red-line spending out of the document before signing it.
Democrats have repeatedly criticized Christie's revenue forecasts as overly optimistic. If the targets are not met, spending would have to be cut or taxes raised to make up the shortfall.
The budget for the fiscal year, which starts July 1, changed little since Christie proposed it in February. Democrats who lead the legislature and the governor's office agreed to changes amounting to less than $100 million.
The $32.9 billion spending plan now goes to Christie, who has until Sunday to give it his signature.
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