Christie to unveil N.J. budget plan

    Gov. Chris Christie will present his state budget plan to the New Jersey Legislature Tuesday.

    Lawmakers are bracing to hear if it will hold more bad news.

    Towns and school districts struggled to deal with state aid cuts Christie made last year to close an $11 billion deficit.

    Senate budget committee chairman Paul Sarlo said he’s concerned about how much state assistance the new budget plan will provide for schools and municipalities.

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    “We cannot endure any more additional cuts in education or municipal aid,” said Sarlo. “We have a 2 percent cap in place, but if we don’t deal with the funding that these towns need, property taxes will continue to go up.”

    Assembly budget committee chairman Lou Greenwald said he wants to hear what the governor will propose to control property taxes.

    “I hope that we hear that he will not be continuing the raid on school districts, that he will not be cutting aid to municipalities,” said Greenwald. ” If you’re not going to give them the help that they need, then the worst problem in the state will continue to worsen and it will drive our economy into the toilet.”

    Senate President Steve Sweeney said reaching a budget compromise will be harder this year than last. The projected deficit is expected to top $10 billion.

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