N.J. Democrats aim to override Christie budget cuts

The New Jersey Senate is scheduled to attempt an override of some of the items Governor Chris Christie’s cut from their budget plan.

The move will not succeed without some Republican votes.

Democrats in the Legislature are pushing for an override of the governor’s rejection of funding for several programs including legal services, an AIDS drug-distribution program, and a center for sexually abused children.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says the $640 million surplus in the budget allows for restoration of many of the cuts that hurt the state’s most vulnerable residents.

“It’s nice to have a surplus; I’m a big, big believer in having a healthy surplus. But, the surplus is only after you’ve met your needs. That’s when you build your surplus,” Sweeney said Friday. “You don’t build it at the expense of the vulnerable.”

All previous efforts to override Christie vetoes have failed to earn Republican support; three GOP votes are needed. Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean brushed off the move, scheduled for Monday. He said the Democrats are more concerned about political theater and the fall campaign than the actual outcome of the override attempts.

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