Gov. Chris Christie and legislative leaders from both houses have reportedly finalized a deal that would restore many of the cuts made in the governor’s original budget.
The deal struck between Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-West Deptford) and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) means budget hearings will likely begin Wednesday with final passage coming Monday.
The $29.4 billion plan restores several of Christie’s initial cuts, matching each with alternative cuts or new revenue.
Included in the Deal:
Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital will remain open
Bergen County’s Blue Laws will remain intact
The State Commission of Investigation will remain open
Restored Funding for Urban Enterprise Zones
The deal capped a day of political theatrics as Democrats tried – and failed- to override Christie’s veto of the co-called millionaire’s tax and Republicans sought to force discussion of the governor’s proposed 2.5 percent cap on property tax increases.
Sweeney has proposed his own cap – 2.9 percent – that would be less restrictive than the hard cap that Christie favors. Christie’s plan gained momentum yesterday as the mayor of the state’s largest city publicly supported the plan. Newark Mayor Cory Booker got himself into hot water with his support of Christie’s plan over Sweeney’s, as Sweeney called Booker’s choice a “major mistake.