SOUTH RIVER, N.J. – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a $29.4 billion budget bill into law, ending his debate with fellow Republicans and the state's Democratic majority and averting a government shutdown July 1.
Christie said the new budget Tuesday might help "restore fiscal sanity" to a state that chronically overspends. It cuts aid to schools, suspends property tax rebates, and jettisons public watchdog agencies.
Republicans supported the bill after some arm-twisting and when Christie agreed to remove a proposal to increase filing fees businesses pay the state. Democrats supplied the votes needed for final approval, but still aren't happy. They say the bill is laden with tax increases on the middle-class and working poor, while largely exempting the wealthy.