New Jersey budget comes up for a vote

    New Jersey lawmakers will vote today on the state’s new budget. There’s optimism among both Republicans and Democrats that it will be approved.

    New Jersey lawmakers will vote today on the state’s new budget.

    There’s optimism among both Republicans and Democrats that it will be approved.

    Legislative leaders say while many lawmakers have concerns about the program cuts required by the $29 billion budget, it’s the best they could do considering the decline in tax revenues during the recession.

    Several Democrats need to support the Republican budget for it to pass.

    Assemblyman Albert Coutinho of Newark knows he’s taking a political risk but says he’ll be one of the Democrats voting for it to avoid a potential government shutdown.

    “I think the only way we’re going to get through these major structural problems that we have here with our pension and benefit system, with property taxes,” says Coutinho, is “if we do it collaboratively. That’s why I’m sending a strong message that I’m here to work with everybody.”

    The budget cuts aid for schools and municipalities, and for the first time in years, does not provide for property tax rebates.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.