What Did Christie Line Item Veto Out Of The Budget?
Gov. Chris Christie has cut several favorite programs favored by Democrats by using his line-item veto
powers on the state budget.
His line-item cuts totaled $361 million out of a nearly $32 billion budget. They included reducing money to municipalities. Christie says the aid could be reduced because towns are saving on pension payments.
PREVIOUS: Christie Signs State Budget
“We’re going to review each line-item veto carefully to study its impact, especially those that target our most vulnerable,” says Democratic Assembly Budget Committee chairman Vinnie Prieto in response toFriday’s budget signing.
“While it’s unfortunate that the Governor, once again, turned his back on women’s health and the working poor, I am comforted that he recognized the fragility of the nursing home industry and maintained most of the funding we had restored, said Prieto. "Overall, Democrats advanced a fiscally responsible budget that leaves open the possibility of a tax cut if the governor’s revenue estimates hold true. It was incumbent upon him to sign it and he did."
He also cut $7 million to buy technology for nonpublic schools and $20 million for New Jersey Legal Services, to offer free, legal assistance to low income residents in civil cases.
“As many as two hundred thousand eligible people seek help from Legal Services of New Jersey each year, but due to inadequate resources, two-thirds are turned away,” said Assemblyman Peter Barnes. “This bill would have created a more stable source of funding for Legal Services to continue to help poor New Jersey residents who cannot afford legal representation in civil matters. Thanks to the Governor’s veto, many of these residents will now have to fend for themselves in a judicial system that can be convoluted and intimidating. This is not justice for all.”
Following a scathing series in the New York Times which documented lax oversight in halfway houses that led to convicts escaping and committing heinous crimes, Democrats added money to the budget for halfway house oversight. Christie line-item vetoed it out.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver says, "This is very concerning and troubling news. This language was placed in there to ensure the public safety of the general public, inmates and employees and according to recent reports is sorely needed. The Assembly will certainly be moving forward on plans for hearings."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.