NJ Budget Still on Track For Early Passage [AUDIO]
Although the State Senate Budget Committee did not vote on a budget bill Tuesday as expected, the spending plan legislation should still be put to bed far in advance of the midnight June 30 constitutional deadline.
In fact, the chairman of the Senate budget panel predicts his committee will approve a bill no later than tomorrow.
"We're going to continue to have very productive ongoing discussions with the Assembly and the (Christie) Administration on the budget," explained Sen. Paul Sarlo.
He expects his committee to vote on the budget bill by tomorrow at the latest. "We would most likely then vote on the 24th (of June). That would be the worst case."
If the budget bill is cleared by the committee tomorrow, the full Senate could theoretically vote on it later the same say. It would require 30 votes in the Upper House to grant an emergency. Democrats control the senate 24-16 which means Republican votes would be needed.
"Is it a budget that the Administration is going to be able to live with?" asked Sen. Tony Bucco, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. He said if the answer is 'yes,' the GOP would likely provide the needed votes for an emergency. However, it will need a closer look if it's a budget Christie won't sign.
Closed-door budget talks were not enough to produce the budget bill everyone expected to see yesterday. What's the hold up?
"It's negotiations," said Sarlo. "I don't want to get into specifics, but we're having productive, very productive discussions with the Administration and the Assembly."