New Jersey lawmakers are going through the state budget recently signed by Governor Chris Christie in an attempt to override specific spending items he vetoed. Senate Democrats take issue with 39 items that were removed from the budget including social welfare programs and municipal aid. The bills are expected to go up for a vote today but are unlikely to pass unless Democrats can get some republicans to cross party lines.
The bills to override are the next volley in a months long budget fight. Like many other states, New Jersey has had a particularly painful budget crisis to deal with, pain that was exacerbated when credit ratings agencies downgraded the state’s credit earlier this year.
Democrats want to restore funding for a variety of social programs including legal aid for the poor and AIDS drug distribution. They also want to restore aid to some of the state’s poorest cities. However, no Democrats voted for the budget when it was passed and no Republicans are expected to vote to override. As such, the budget issues are likely to remain up in the air creating more problems for the actual residents who depend on these programs.
The current budget contains a surplus which the Governor claims is in place for budget items that were underestimated as a means of guarding against deficits.