New Jersey budget signed after some vetoes

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jun 29, 2012 7:38 PM

(Reuters) - Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a $31.7 billion state budget on Friday for fiscal year 2013 after stripping out spending items that the Democrat-controlled legislature had passed.

While his budget is the same size as the one lawmakers sent to him this week, he vetoed $361 million of their spending proposals.

Christie said his budget calls for a $1 billion payment to the state's pension system and will maintain a surplus in state coffers of more than $600 million.

"This spending as usual is just more of the same mentality that plagued the eight years before I became Governor," he said in a statement. "We cannot go back to the old way of doing things, which got us into a fiscal mess in the first place."

New Jersey faced a government shutdown if Christie and lawmakers had not finalized a budget by July 1.

Christie vetoed a provision that would have restored the earned income tax credit to full funding for low-income New Jersey residents.

Vincent Prieto, chairman of the New Jersey Assembly's budget committee, said in a statement that lawmakers would carefully review each line-item veto to study the impact.

(Reporting By Hilary Russ)