Assembly opens debate on Christie's budget

Assembly panel to hear testimony on Christie's budget

Assembly panel to hear testimony on Christie's budget

COLLINGSWOOD - (AP) - Assembly lawmakers have opened the budget season with a polite but more combative hearing than their Senate counterparts.

Assembly Budget Committee members sparred Wednesday over business incentives and clashed over corporate subsidies during their first public hearing on Gov. Chris Christie's budget plan. They also heard testimony from drug and alcohol addicts and their families about how the state should help them.

Few details were settled and the process will continue to unwind until July 1. The session came a day after the state Senate's Budget Committee had met in Paramus and largely avoided political jousting.

Christie unveiled his $33.8 billion budget outline last month. The ongoing public hearings are the first step in the legislative process.

The Assembly holds its second public hearing next week in Paterson.

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