Sarlo: Budget deal imminent

TRENTON – The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee says a budget proposal will be hashed out within the next 48 hours.

Sen. Paul Sarlo told reporters that lawmakers and the administration have made significant progress on a budget proposal and that he expects one to be released within the next two days. The announcement came following a day of closed door meetings to discuss the budget.

“We’ve had very productive discussions,” Sarlo said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”

The Senate Democrat wouldn’t discuss the final sticking points between the administration and both chambers of the Legislature, rather, when pressed by reporters he reiterated that a deal was imminent.

“We’re very optimistic [that] within the next 48 hours we will … have a budget bill out,” he said, referring to the Senate Budget Committee.

The Senate’s top lawmaker, Senate President Steve Sweeney, reiterated Sarlo’s remarks.

“We’re pretty much there,” Sweeney said.

The hearing was originally slated to begin at 11 a.m. and it was expected a budget bill hitting the panel floor was within reach. Sarlo twice updated his Twitter account during the day announcing “negotiations are still ongoing.”

Sarlo: Budget deal imminent