Governor Christie Optimistic About NJ Budget Finalization [AUDIO]
In late February, Governor Chris Christie proposed a $32.9 billion State budget.
Almost every year for the past decade there have been epic battles as lawmakers try to finalize their version of a spending plan that a Governor would actually sign. This year has been virtually drama-free and Christie hopes a deal can be finalized soon.
"Staff is working together, have been working together through the weekend to narrow the issues," explains Christie. "I'm sure some time this week I'll get together with the leaders of the Senate and the Assembly to talk about where we go from here."
Democrats have famously clashed with Christie over his spending plans since he took office. In the past they produced their own budget and Christie vetoed the lion's share of it. In previous years, they've passed a millionaires tax hike to supplement the budget and Christie has vetoed that twice too.
This year has been very quiet. Even the public budget hearings have been love fests. They typically produce arguments and controversy.
"At least thus far, I'm optimistic about the way the conversations are going between staff, but in the end they'll narrow issues for us," says the Governor. "We'll hopefully come to some type of agreement. We've done that before. I'm hopeful that we can do that again and that we can do it in a time-frame that is swift and doesn't lead to too much suspense at the end of the year."
The end of the fiscal year is inching ever closer. The deadline for a signed and balanced budget to be in place is midnight June 30.