PARAMUS - The review process begins this week for Gov. Chris Christie's proposed $29.4 billion state budget.

The first hearing will take place today in Paramus by a state Senate budget and appropriations panel. The Assembly's budget committee will follow up with a series of its own hearings starting tomorrow, focusing on health, human services, senior, family and children's issues.

Analysts expect a tough battle over the budget, unlike last year's process.

Christie and Republican lawmakers have criticized the financial priorities of Democrats, who control both houses of the legislature, saying they haven't made the hard-nosed responsible choices that the state needs.

Democrats claim Christie's budget plans will pit middle-class taxpayers against each other.

AP wire services contributed to this report.