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Sweeney cuts funding for Kean, GOP allies



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Democrat who controls the purse strings on staff spending in the New Jersey Senate is chopping Republicans’ allocation nearly in half.

GOP Leader Tom Kean Jr. says Senate President Stephen Sweeney is cutting $142,000 from a discretionary account that funds constituent services in the legislative districts. He says some Republican staffers will lose their jobs as a result.

Kean says Sweeney has reallocated the remaining $188,000 to reward GOP senators who voted to oust Kean as GOP leader and punish those who remained loyal. Lawmakers receive a separate annual staff stipend of $110,000 for staff, which has not been trimmed.

Kean says Sweeney’s action is unprecedented. Sweeney declined comment on the matter.

Kean wouldn’t release his own recommended allocations or say whether he plans to retaliate against Republicans who supported Sen. Kevin O’Toole for minority leader.