TRENTON — As the full Legislature is slowing its typically brisk pace ahead of the November election, New Jersey's problems are piling up.

The Labor Day weekend might mark the unofficial end of summer for many, but New Jersey's Legislature won't likely meet again until after Election Day.

The break comes as Gov. Chris Christie spends time beyond New Jersey seeking the Republican nomination for president and as a number of issues grip the state: Atlantic City's fiscal crunch; the transportation trust fund lurching toward insolvency; and the $80 billion public pension teetering toward unsustainability.

Experts say one reason for the pause is lawmakers don't want to take a stand on tough issues that could anger voters. The Assembly is at the top of the ballot for the first time since 1999.

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