New Jersey Governor Christie Vetoes Spending Measures Passed by Democrats
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed $132.1 million in supplemental spending on health care and homebuyer tax credits that the Democratic-led Legislature approved during deliberations on his $29.4 billion budget.
Christie vetoed three bills providing for $100 million in homebuyer credits, $7.5 million in funding for women’s health- care programs and $24.6 million for the FamilyCare insurance program. The first-term Republican lowered spending by $10 billion in his first budget, which took effect July 1.
“State spending has been reset to levels the taxpayers can afford, and supplemental spending that would return to the unchecked spending and out-of-control budget shortfalls of the past will not make it past the governor’s desk,” Christie said today in his veto message to lawmakers.
Christie, a 47-year-old Republican who took office in January, skipped a $3 billion pension payment and lowered aid to schools and towns by $1.3 billion in his budget. The plan also suspended property-tax rebates until next year, when the state will owe $2.1 billion, according to an estimate by legislative forecasters.
Democrats in the Senate and Assembly said they plan to push for override attempts. They would need two-thirds of the votes in the 80-member Assembly and 40-member Senate to override the governor’s veto.
The homebuyer credit passed the Assembly 67-8 and the Senate unanimously. The FamilyCare bill cleared the Senate 23-17 and the Assembly by 45-32 in votes that fell along party lines. The women’s health measure passed the two houses 30-10 and 42- 22.
“This is a philosophical debate,” said Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, a Democrat from Cherry Hill who sponsored the credits and FamilyCare bills. “No one person in New Jersey should be driving the agenda.”
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