Dems, GOP begin hashing out state budget deal

Lawmakers in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate will get to work this week on a state spending plan, just four days before the current

TRENTON - Lawmakers in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate will get to work this week on a state spending plan, just four days before the current budget runs out.

Hearings began in both houses today, with final votes on budget bills set for Thursday.

Gov. Chris Christie proposed a $29.6 billion budget, but Democrats have drafted their own $30 billion version.

Christie says the state won't take in enough revenue to finance the Democrats' plan. But Democrats want to reinstate a surcharge on millionaires to help cover increased aid to schools and seniors who own homes.

Christie vetoed the proposed "millionaire's tax" last year, and Democrats failed to come up with enough votes to override Christie's veto.

A balanced budget must be in place by July 1 in order to avoid a government shut down.

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