Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate President Steve Sweeney and members of their respective staffs began a closed-door meeting shortly after 3 p.m. on Friday, likely to discuss strategies for the next steps of the budget fight with Gov. Phil Murphy.
While the exact tack they’re considering is unclear – Sweeney did not take questions as he crossed the hall from his office to Coughlin’s, where the meeting is taking place – legislators have few options available at this point. But the do have one rather large one: let Murphy veto the budget, shut down state government — which may be on him.
They can either find concessions that might bring the governor to the table and bring negotiations back from the brink, or they can double down on the battle and try to whip enough votes for a veto override.
Though Murphy has yet to veto the spending bill the legislature passed yesterday, he has promised to do so. The governor’s office has not given any indication whether or not such a veto might come today.