TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) are hammering out the final details of a budget deal right now.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-ridge), chairman of the senate budget committee, is watching closely.
“I am planning on a Wednesday meeting, which is predicated on a budget deal being finalized tonight,” Sarlo told PolitickerNJ.com. “If the three principals are able to finalize the deal, that will pave the way for hearings on Wednesday.”
Sarlo said he does not foresee the legislative budget vote occuring before Monday of next week.
Democrats said Christie as part of a deal with legislative leaders intends to restore funding that would keep Hagedorn Hospital open, and wants to leave Blue Laws on the books in Bergen that don’t allow shopping on Sundays. Pro-life, he refuses to budge on restoring $7.6 million in family planning, however.
In an effort to brand Republicans as anti-women, Democrats intend to introduce a family planning bill as a supplement to the budget.
Asked tonight if she intends to vote for Christie’s $29.3 billion budget or its tweaked successor, state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark) offfered no comment.
The Newark legislator who serves as deputy chief of staff to Essex County Exeutive Joe DiVincenzo – a cross-the-aisle ally of Christie’s – is one of four senators whom political insiders speculate may vote in favor of Christie’s budget as part of the deal.