Governor, lawmakers agree on budget deal

A tentative deal on a $29.3 billion New Jersey budget has been reached between Democrats in the Legislature and the Republican governor's office.

Democratic legislative leaders announced the agreement Monday after word of a tentative accord leaked.

"We're going to wind up passing a historic budget that will close an $11 billion budget gap without tax increases," said Gov. Chris Christie at a briefing held Monday night.

The compromise budget retains most of Gov. Chris Christie's cuts - including an $820 million reduction in school aid.

However, Democrats negotiated for the restoration of more than $100 million in funding to programs and services for the poor and disabled.

State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney said, "The budget we will introduce is far from perfect and will still be a tough sell among Democratic lawmakers, but the governor should be commended for working with us to take the sting out of some of its most harmful cuts."

A balanced budget must be in place by July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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