Democratic state legislators are expected to present Gov. Chris Christie with a $35.3 billion budget spending plan later today — $1.6 billion in revenues more than the budget Christie sent to the Legislature earlier this year. The revenues would be gained through corporate tax hikes and an increase in income tax on earnings over $1 million a year.
Spending priorities in the two budgets are also different. The Democratic bill calls for restoring $2.8 billion in funding to the pension system, which the two sides agreed on four years ago. It provides $7.5 million for family-planning service clinics, a perennial fight that the Democrats have had with the governor since he took office and slashed the spending. And it increases funding for higher education.
Christie’s budget reduces the pension spending to $1.3 billion. He can line-item veto anything in the Democrats budget, including tax hikes and specific spending, but he can’t add anything.