No NJ Budget Agreement Yet
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. June 18, 2013
Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Senate expect an agreement will be reached soon on a new state budget.
Senate President Steve Sweeney says negotiators are close to working out a deal with the Christie administration and the Assembly on a budget bill that the governor can accept.
“Our aim is to get a budget done, get him to sign it. We’ve said that from the beginning the best way to do the budget is to negotiate one, and we have. We’re pretty much there. It’s just a matter of cleaning things up.”
While there could be changes in some programs, Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo expects the budget will be the same $32.9 billion amount that the governor proposed.
“We’re now working on some of the specifics, some of the language, and everybody has been very cooperative. We’re moving in the right direction. I’m very comfortable and confident that within the next 48 hours we will be meeting to have a budget bill done.”
Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco is disappointed an agreement on a budget bill has not yet been reached.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to put it all together by Thursday’s meeting and see where it goes from there.”
If all goes as planned, the full Legislature could vote Monday on the budget so it’s in place ahead of the July 1st constitutional deadline.