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Tensions rise as New Jersey budget deadline nears

Local News | Jun 16, 2014

Tensions rise as New Jersey budget deadline nears

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s budget deliberations are headed for the wire.

Two of the principal dealmakers — Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney — are negotiating as they eye higher offices.

There’s also a labor lawsuit hanging overhead to force elected officials to make required pension payments that won’t be heard until June 25.

Christie plans to skip $2.25 billion in pension payments over the next 13 months to fill gaping budget holes.

His cost-cutting could play well with conservatives in early voting states if he decides to run for president in 2016.

Sweeney needs labor support to survive a contested Democratic primary if he runs for governor in 2017.

The Assembly will have to decide whether to go along with any deal brokered by Christie and Sweeney.