In February, Governor Chris Christie proposed a $32.9 billion State Budget. Hearings on the spending plan have been going on for months and closed-door negotiations have been taking place for weeks. The constitutionally mandated deadline for a signed and balanced budget is midnight June 30, but it appears the process is way ahead of schedule.

“It’s very close,” explained Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald. “Things are going well so we’re preparing, but I wouldn’t say it’s finished at this point.”

The Upper House is certainly preparing too. The State Senate Budget Committee has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow morning that could include a vote on a budget bill if a deal is struck today with the Christie Administration. Greenwald said scheduling a budget hearing before an agreement has been reached or an actual bill has even been drafted is really the smart thing to do.

“We’re just setting dates so that if it does get done today we’re ready to go tomorrow (and) if not, we just keep pushing it back,” explained Greenwald. “We’ve been working with the Governor’s office so I think right now we are trying to get a negotiated budget. It wouldn’t be our (Democrats) own budget. It would be a budget that everybody would sign off and agree on.”