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Democrats Who Sought Merger Bill Delay Back Down

Two Democrats who were among a faction threatening to tie up the state budget unless a fast-moving higher education overhaul bill was delayed have backed down.

Trenton State House
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Assembly members Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace of Paramus now say they won’t withhold support for the budget.

They say they still have concerns about how quickly a plan to revamp Rutgers, Rowan and the University of Medicine and Dentistry is being shepherded through the Legislature.

But the two say they no longer stand behind a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver they signed Tuesday.

Wagner and Eustace were among nine Assembly Democrats who told the speaker they felt the costs of the university overhaul and its impact on students hadn’t been fully assessed. They asked for a vote delay in exchange for their budget votes.

The Assembly Budget Committee will hear both bills Monday.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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