Gov. Christie cuts $900M from N.J. budget

July 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM
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TRENTON, N.J., July 1 (UPI) -- Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed $900 million in spending as he signed the New Jersey state budget.

The money, added by Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly would have gone to urban aid, suburban schools, the Medicaid program and college tuition assistance, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported. Christie, who signed the budget on the last day of the fiscal year Thursday, called the spending "unconstitutional."

The governor also vetoed a "millionaires' tax" that would have increased rates in the upper brackets and a tax break for those with low incomes.

The budget he signed has $29.7 billion in spending and a $640 million surplus, the largest in several years.

Christie accused Democrats of "pandering to special interests."

Senate President John Sweeney, who agreed to massive changes in public employee pension and health benefits that Christie signed Tuesday, said the governor "makes it very hard to work with him."

"There are special interests," Sweeney said. "They are called seniors, the middle class and low-income families who the governor just decimated. We are just beginning to digest the cuts in the budget, but they are extremely cruel and mean-spirited."

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