State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic City) does not foresee voting in favor of Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $29.3 billion budget in its present form.
The governor needs four senate votes from Democratic leadership to pass his budget in the upper house but Whelan won’t be one of them unless he sees changes.
“It’s unlikely I’ll vote for it as it’s currently devised,” Whelan told PolitickerNJ.com. “Whether there can be enough tweaks to get me there, it remains to be seen.”
Whelan said the main issue for him is the governor’s inflexible approach, in his view.
“I’m waiting for the governor to move into the room,” Whelan said. “He keeps talking about moving to the center of the room. I’d like to see a lot more significant moves on his part.
“I don’t want to put down a marker on what I’d need to see to vote for the budget,” Whelan added. “But the general tone from the governor would have to change, and he would have to recognize hardships created in the areas of family planning, for example, and libraries.”
As part of the governor’s effort to close a state budget deficit, Christie’s proposed 2011 budget calls for a 74 percent reduction or $10.4 million in library aid, and the elimination of $7.6 million for state planning agencies.