NJ Senate committee passes budget bill

(AP) - The Senate budget committee has advancedNew Jersey's budget for the fiscal year that starts next week,moving it a step closer to full passage.

Senate and Assembly budget committees are scheduled to holdhearings through the end of this week. The $29.4 billion budget wasagreed to in principle by Democrats who control the Legislature andthe Republican governor's office.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate budget committee advanced bills toeliminate the public advocate, suspend a tax credit forbiotechnology companies, reduce the earned income tax credit forthe working poor and increase civil service exam fees.

The compromise budget would restore about $74 million toprograms for students, the elderly and disabled, but keeps most ofGov. Chris Christie's cuts.

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