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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Veto override talks begin

Sweeney remains optimistic

By Nikita Biryukov, June 21 2018 9:38 pm

Early discussions about a veto override have started among senate Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Thursday.

“We’re kind of discussing that very prematurely,” Weinberg said. “We have two more voting sessions after this already scheduled. We have a nice long weekend in between, and can we really – the two budgets mirror each other in many ways. They are not very far apart in terms of the things that we both want, that the administration wants and the legislature wants.”

Gov. Phil Murphy has pledged to veto any budget the legislature passes that does not include sustainable revenues.

The budget put forward by State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and passed by both chambers of the legislature Thursday largely relies on funding provided by an increase in the corporation business tax that would fade after two years.

While he was cagey on timing, Murphy, at a budget press conference following a meeting with legislative leaders that lasted roughly 30 minutes and ended without a budget deal, indicated he hadn’t reconsidered his pledge to veto that budget, so if legislative leaders want their version of the budget to make it into law, they’ll have to push it through without his support.

Sweeney didn’t want to approach the possibility of an override at a press conference late in the day.

“I don’t want to talk about that right now. I really don’t,” Sweeney said. “There’s no reason why we can’t get beyond where we’re at today.”

Murphy shared the latter sentiment.

“I’m not announcing a shutdown today. I’m giving you a 5,000-mile checkup report on where we are,” the governor said. “We still have nine days to go, and this is the longest day of the year, perhaps figuratively and literally.”

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