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Lawmakers Open To Restoring Funds For NJ Cities

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — All sides seem willing to talk about restoring aid to New Jersey’s struggling cities.

Democrats passed a budget that left the aid intact but cut more than $1 million for oversight.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: Cuts Took Cities By Surprise

In response, Gov. Chris Christie cut $139 million, leaving $10 million to help municipalities with extraordinary hardships like Trenton, Camden and Asbury Park.

“Sometimes people do things to make a point,” said Irvington mayor Wayne Smith, who is head of the Urban Mayors Association.

But Democrats on Thursday said they would try to override that veto and others.

Christie’s office says he is ready to work with the Senate president and Assembly speaker to “get things done.”

A spokesman for Senate Republicans says they’re willing to talk about restoring the cuts if oversight of the spending is also restored.

Smith says he hopes the funds will be restored, but is still worried about his city’s future. “I’m critically concerned, absolutely,” Smith said.

If nothing is done, he says there may be more cuts in city service and more layoffs on the horizon.

Democrats say they are willing to consider bringing oversight back as part of a deal.

Was Gov. Christie right in his use of the line-item veto? 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)