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Senate President Steve Sweeney. (Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Senate passes budget 31-6

Some Republicans back Democratic budget

By Nikita Biryukov, June 20 2019 3:14 pm

The Senate passed the appropriations bill being pushed by legislative leadership in a 31-6 vote Thursday.

State Sen. Ron Rice, who was not present at Thursday’s session, and State Sen. Nia Gill were the only Democrats not to vote in favor of the budget. Gill did not cast a vote.

Several Republicans backed the bill in the upper chamber.

Sens. Joe Pennacchio, Declan O’Scanlon, Kip Bateman, Kristin Corrado, Sam Thompson and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean voted to back the budget.

Gov. Phil Murphy can still veto the bill — outright or through a line-item veto — but the vote reinforces a message Senate President Steve Sweeney sent the governor on Wednesday: The upper chamber is willing to override.

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