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NJ Assembly & Senate Pass $30.6 Billion Democratic-Backed Budget

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The New Jersey Assembly has approved a $30.6 billion state budget drafted by the Democratic majority.

The Senate passed the budget earlier Wednesday. It now heads to Gov. Chris Christie, who has said he won't sign it.

The bill relies on a more optimistic projection of revenue for the coming year than the administration certified, prompting a warning letter from the Christie administration to Democratic leaders on the eve of the budget votes.

"It is important to make clear that the proposal fails its constitutional obligations, making it impossible for the governor to support it in its current form," said Treasurer Andrew Eristoff in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

The letter urges Democrats to close the gaps before sending the budget to Christie. If budget-balancing issues aren't resolved, the letter says, Christie "will have no choice but to avail himself of the full range of the constitutional remedies available to him."

The vote in each house was along party lines.

"It is a proposal that is fair, and honest. It is based on real, achievable figures. And it will begin to close the wounds to our state that have been made by a thousand arbitrary cuts," said Sen. Paul Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and the budget bill sponsor.

Democrats also were advancing a millionaires' tax, which Christie vowed to veto.

A balanced budget must be in place by Friday. If not, the government technically runs out of money and nonessential services would shut down.

Christie proposed a budget that is about $1 billion less than the Democrats' plan. The Democrats' version contains more funding for public schools, the working poor and crime-fighting initiatives.

Do you think the millionaires' tax is a good idea? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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