Democrats hold early budget hearing in Trenton

TRENTON - State Democrats broke tradition today by holding a September budget hearing. Usually this isn't done until later in the year.

The state treasurer turned down the opportunity to appear before the committee. The Assembly had requested a full budget breakdown for this morning.

According to the Legislature's budget expert, the state economy will have to grow faster in order to reach the governor's desired outcomes.

Republicans argue that the unprecedented September hearing does little to shed light on the situation, as it will be months before the state's final audit is complete.

A release from the state treasury shows the new fiscal year isn't off to a good enough start either.

While the treasurer says this is the best August in state history for tax collection, the month is still way below what Gov. Chris Christie hoped to see.

New Jersey collected more than $1.6 billion, but that is $82 million less than projected.

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