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NJ Assembly panel advances $32.9B budget



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A $32.9 billion state budget that makes relatively minor changes to the one Gov. Chris Christie proposed in February has cleared the Assembly Budget Committee.

The budget moved through the Senate Budget Committee earlier Thursday with bipartisan support, paving the way for final votes in both chambers on Monday.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

The budget agreement reached by the Democrat-led Legislature and Christie’s office contains more money for schools and county colleges than the governor proposed, but eliminates a pilot school voucher program and funding to expand preschools.

Additional funds were also allocated for cancer research and for a higher education merger involving Rutgers and Rowan universities.