As N.J. budget deadline nears, deal expected

New Jersey lawmakers are preparing to act on a new state budget with the end-of-the month constitutional deadline fast approaching to get it done.

Budget committees in the Senate and Assembly will hold hearings Thursday on the $32 billion spending plan.

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Vinnie Prieto expects there will be enough support from his fellow Democrats to pass the budget.

“I’m confident that we’ll have 41 votes to support this budget. I’ll be more than happy to sit with anybody and talk to them if they have their reservations and whatever their concerns are,” said Prieto, D-Hudson.

Prieto says lawmakers will send Gov. Chris Christie a responsible budget that he can sign. He said he does not anticipate a stalemate that could force a government shutdown.

The Democrats’ budget bill will set aside $183 million for a tax break demanded by Christie until revenues show the state can afford it.

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