Assembly passes the budget

After several hours of debate and several dozen representatives rising to speak both for and against, the assembly passed the budget early Tuesday morning by a vote of 41 to 37, with all Republicans and eight Democrats voting in favor.

The eight Democrats who voted “aye” were Assembly Representatives Nelson Albano (D-Vineland), Upendra Chivukula (D-Franklin Twp.), Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Joe Cryan (D-Union Twp.), Matt Milam (D-Vineland), Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange), Ruben Ramos (D-Hoboken), and Caridad Rodriguez (D-West New York).

The vote follows a day of political theater and maneuvering that saw two lawmakers who said last week they would not vote for the plan fall into line with the rest of the GOP.  Both Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-Franklin) and Michael Patrick Carroll, (D-Morris Twp.) voted in favor after nearly a week of opposition.