TRENTON - A Democratic budget that includes tax hikes but also makes a nearly $3 billion public pension payment is now headed for a vote before the full Legislature.
But if it reaches his desk, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to use his line-item veto to remove the more than $1 billion in tax increases and replace the pension payment with a $1.3 billion cash infusion.
The Senate and Assembly budget committees both approved the $35.3 billion spending blueprint Tuesday along party lines.
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Republicans question the Democrats' efforts because similar proposals last year were vetoed. Democrats say they are living up to an obligation created in a 2011 law laying out pension payment requirements.
A floor vote is expected in both chambers on Thursday. A new budget is required by July 1.