New Jersey Democrats advance $34.8B budget

New Jersey Democrats set to unveil 2017 spending

New Jersey Democrats set to unveil 2017 spending blueprint

TRENTON - Democrats who control New Jersey's Legislature unveiled a $34.8 billion budget, just $300 million over what Republican Gov. Chris Christie is calling for in 2017.

The Democrat-led Assembly Budget Committee approved the plan on Thursday. The Senate is also set to consider the measure.

Among the changes are an increase of $45 million for a property tax program that benefits older residents and $25 million for charity care.

The constitution requires a balanced budget, and lawmakers face a July 1 deadline when the new fiscal year begins.

Christie's 2017 budget has been less contentious than previous years' plans, but Democrats took issue with the governor's calls for cuts to pensioners' health benefits.

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