NJ Assembly & Senate Pass $30.6 Billion Democratic-Backed Budget

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New Jersey Assembly has approved a $30.6 billion state budget drafted by the Democratic majority.

The Senate passed the budget earlier Wednesday. It now heads to Gov. Chris Christie, who has said he won’t sign it.

The bill relies on a more optimistic projection of revenue for the coming year than the administration certified, prompting a warning letter from the Christie administration to Democratic leaders on the eve of the budget votes.

“It is important to make clear that the proposal fails its constitutional obligations, making it impossible for the governor to support it in its current form,” said Treasurer Andrew Eristoff in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

The letter urges Democrats to close the gaps before sending the budget to Christie. If budget-balancing issues aren’t resolved, the letter says, Christie “will have no choice but to avail himself of the full range of the constitutional remedies available to him.”

The vote in each house was along party lines.

“It is a proposal that is fair, and honest. It is based on real, achievable figures. And it will begin to close the wounds to our state that have been made by a thousand arbitrary cuts,” said Sen. Paul Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and the budget bill sponsor.

Democrats also were advancing a millionaires’ tax, which Christie vowed to veto.

A balanced budget must be in place by Friday. If not, the government technically runs out of money and nonessential services would shut down.

Christie proposed a budget that is about $1 billion less than the Democrats’ plan. The Democrats’ version contains more funding for public schools, the working poor and crime-fighting initiatives.

Do you think the millionaires’ tax is a good idea? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. lydia says:

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    If you have 84% of the wealth than you have a responsibility to pay taxes. It is absolutely absurd. to even consider that the wealthy should not contribute. Times are hard and we all have to tighten our belt-straps, yet the wealthy are excluded? Time for them to pitch in.

  2. Mj says:

    This is stupid. All it will do is drive the wealthy out of nj. Schools dont need more money, they need less top heavy administration and dismantling the teachers union. Children overseas get a better education for a tenth if what it costs here. That means more money is not the answer. Raising taxes only puts more money in the budget for politicians to manipulate and pocket.

  3. Kristen says:

    The conundrum with taxes is everyone pays a different amount for the same service. The issue is, millionaires utilize breaks that are not available to the middle class. Warren Buffet (worth billions) pays less in taxes than his secretary. Republicans play a cat-n-mouse game with taxes by saying give the rich more money and they will spend it creating opportunity for others (Reagan’s failed trickle down theory). Why not the trickle up theory, raise the millionaire tax, cut the middle class, and we will spend more and lets see if the rich benefit from our benevolence.

  4. Andy Johnson says:

    The millionaires’ tax is a joke. It is a gift for Or entitlement that the rich expect from the republicans. To date and going forward they will continue to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. The administration will also vilify the working class and state employees as a means to offset their actions.

  5. Robert says:

    Why does democrats and liberal think the money is the governments to take. I earned my money I want to keep it. Hey the bible only ask for 10%. Government nearly 50%.

    I have made mistakes with my money but I made a budget and followed it cut my credit cards up.

    Class war fair, racism, Union or no union

    1. Fiore DeRosa says:

      I am amazed that working people still fight for the rights of millionaires and Billionaires. The top 1% of the nation has 50 % of the wealth in this country and the top 20% has 84% of the wealth. That means that 80 % of the nation are trying to get by on 16% of the wealth of this nation. And on that 16% they rely the taxes on the middle class and working poor to balance budgets. On our 10$ an hour jobs. If you have 84% of the wealth than you have a responsibility to pay taxes. It is absolutely absurd. to even consider that the wealthy should not contribute. Times are hard and we all have to tighten our belt-straps, yet the wealthy are excluded? Time for them to pitch in.

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