Legislators struggle to pass state budget

State legislators are struggling to agree on a state budget before the upcoming July 1 deadline.

State revenue collections are $267.1 million below estimates for the current budget year, according to the state Treasury Department.

Gov. Chris Christie proposed a $29.3 billion budget that makes sweeping cuts in state aid.

New Jersey Democrats in the Assembly and Senate are planning to negotiate with the Republican governor's office to restore roughly $400 million in budget cuts to programs and services for AIDS patients, students and the poor.

Christie needs the votes of eight Democrats in the Assembly and four in the Senate to pass the budget if every Republican approves it.

Speaking yesterday at a town hall meeting in Roxbury, Christie said he wants the budget voted on a week ahead of the July 1 deadline.

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