Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is plugging a nearly $600 million budget gap with savings from costs that it overestimated.
It’s a regular practice in New Jersey government.
But critics argue the money could still be spent on worthwhile programs rather than being funneled to the general fund to close budget gaps in lean years.
Christie identified nearly $282 million in savings from more than a dozen areas, with the largest savings of $95 million coming from the division responsible for the state’s public health care program.
The administration says it overestimated enrollment in a program that assists elderly residents in getting nursing home care.
Critics say there are poor and immigrant residents who could qualify for the program but aren’t aware it exists.