Deal still not reached on Christie's $29.4-billion budget

An agreement on the state budget has still not been reached as the July 1 deadline approaches. It was expected that Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) $29.4-billion budget would reach a final vote today. In order to reach a final vote, all of the Republicans need to vote "yes" along with a few Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate. Besides the main budget bill, the Assembly and Senate must approve about 17 bills that are part of the overall budget package.

The proposal includes $332 million in cuts to local municipalities and slashes funds to higher education by $173 million.

Last week, Gov. Christie came to an agreement with Democrats that restored about $74 million to programs for students, the elderly and disabled, but kept most of the governor's cuts. He also agreed to rescind a proposal for the state to collect $5 million in business-filing fees in an effort to help shore up support for his proposal.

Republican leaders have predicted unanimous GOP support for the governor's budget by the time a vote is taken. Democrats have promised to provide the minimum number of votes to pass the budget if all Republicans sign off.

AP wires contributed to this report.

Related Stories:

GOP opposition delays NJ budget vote NJ Senate committee passes budget bill Work remains on fragile NJ budget deal Tentative deal reached over NJ budget Court upholds NJ governor's 2010 school cuts Thousands rally in NJ against budget cuts NJ voters reject majority of school budgets NJ gov talks up tough-love budget

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