NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Bergen County legislators are not too pleased with New Jersey governor Chris Christie at the moment, and they're claiming that they will refuse to go along with his plan to improve higher education in other parts of the state unless North Jersey institutions are taken care of.
The legislators are saying that they will only support Christie's education legislation if it includes as much as half-a-billion dollars for various colleges and institutions in North Jersey.
Public debate has previously surrounded this issue, but it mainly focused on how to reorder higher education in South Jersey. This week, however, North Jersey lawmakers decided that it was time for them to get into the mix as well.
"What we're concerned about is that there have been no dollars appropriated towards this," New Jersey state senator Paul Sarlo said. "And as the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee -- along with my fellow senators from Bergen County -- we are going to ensure that equitable funding is provided to some of our other universities and colleges in the northern part of the state, such as Ramapo, Montclar State University, William Patterson University and the like."
The New Jersey budget deadline is June 30, and Sarlo believes that Christie's projected date of enacting the reorganization by July 1 is simply not feasible.
"Today is our first day of dealing with the budget process," Sarlo said. "We have a lot of work to do between now and June 30, and I think the governor's date of July 1 is unrealistic."
Christie says that he does not need legislative approval for his plan to go into effect.
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