Approved by the majority, Senate Republicans break from $30.6 billion budget

TRENTON – After a rare midday final budget hearing for the state Senate, Democrats in the majority passed their $30.6 billion budget. It will now go before the general Assembly, where it is expected to be passed. The Senate needs to hold a concurrence vote, then it will be sent to Gov. Chris Christie.

Republicans broke from the majority and voted against the bill, which some said has no chance of being signed by Christie based on roughly $700 million in ill-defined revenues.

The vote fell along strict party lines, 23-15, with state Sens. Andy Ciesla and Nick Sacco both absent and expected to submit their votes at a later time.

State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36), Democratic budget officer, said, “This budget is sound. It’s based on revenue numbers that have been proven time and time again by the Office of Legislative Services to be fair.”

State Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R-21) said, “This budget clearly violates the constitution,” by ignoring revenue numbers already certified by Christie.

Approved by the majority, Senate Republicans break from $30.6 billion budget