New Jersey Legislative Panels OK $30.6B Budget
TRENTON, N.J. -- A $30.6 billion proposed state budget -- championed by Democrats as responsible but opposed by Republicans who called it reckless -- advanced in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature Monday, with final votes set for Wednesday.
Separately, both houses forwarded a two-year surcharge on millionaires for votes before the full chamber. Republican Gov. Chris Christie has said he would veto the tax.
Democrats who control the Legislature decided last week to reject the budget Christie proposed and draft their own version. The Democrats' budget provides a more generous aid package to public schools, provides $50 million in grants to towns and cities experiencing crime spikes and restores funds to nursing homes and women's clinics.
It is about $1 billion higher than the budget Christie proposed and relies on revenue forecasts that the governor says are too optimistic. That's significant because spending must match revenues in the state budget.Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak called it "the same old tax and spend policies of New Jersey Democrats." "This is not the fifth year of the (former Gov.) Jon Corzine administration," he said. "It is the second year of the Christie administration, where disciplined fiscal policies and lower taxes will continue our state on the road to recovery. With this proposal, the Democrats want to drive that recovery head-on into a stone wall." The bill moved through budget committees of the Senate and Assembly the day it was introduced -- three days before the current budget expires. Republicans, who discussed the bill with summary sheets and staffers' notes, complained they were being asked to vote on an appropriations plan they hadn't seen. No Republican supported the Democrats' budget. The bill passed 8-5 in the Senate budget committee and 8-4 in the Assembly. Democrats who control both chambers advanced a separate income tax surcharge on the state's wealthiest residents, an estimated 16,000 filers who earn more than $1 million each. Assembly and Senate budget panels approved the measure along party lines. Estimates vary on how much revenue the tax would generate, but Democrats want to use $500 million of the windfall to buttress state aid to suburban school districts.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV