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Christie signs bill revamping biz tax breaks

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation changing how the state awards tax breaks to businesses and developers.

The bill consolidates New Jersey’s five tax incentive programs into two — one to give grants for creating jobs, the other to keep jobs from leaving the state.

The bill signed Wednesday has gone through many changes since being introduced in January, as lawmakers expanded its reach to south Jersey and relaxed restrictions for companies to participate. And its chief sponsor in the Assembly recently pleaded guilty to writing checks to himself from a family foundation.

Christie conditionally vetoed the version that reached his desk. But the Legislature agreed to pass the bill again with the governor’s changes.

Environmentalists say it encourages sprawl, while other critics say it’s too big a giveaway.