Senate President Steve Sweeney plans to be in Trenton on Thursday, working on bipartisan legislation to ensure that state workers are paid for the three days they were sidelined last week when the budget wasn’t delivered on time. According the state constitution, the Legislature must send a budget to the governor no later than midnight, June 30, which is when the new fiscal year begins. The lack of a budget forced the state to shut down all but essential services at 12:01 a.m. July 1, effectively idling thousands of state employees.
“It’s just showing our intent for what we think is important,” said Sweeney. “For the workers that should have been paid, this wasn’t their fault that we had an impasse. We should pay them. It was in the budget. It’s not like the money is not there.”
Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto wants Gov. Chris Christie to use his executive authority to pay the workers.
If Christie won’t act, Prieto says he’ll urge the Assembly to also pass legislation authorizing payment.
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