Reporting John Ostapkovich
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - Democrats in the New Jersey state senate were trying today, but so far failing, to mount overrides of more than three dozen line-item vetoes that Governor Chris Christie made in the budget (see related story).
The very first one out of the gate represented a little more than a half-million dollars for the Wynona Lipman Child Center in Newark. That money would be put to good use, said Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen County).
“We are talking about $536,000 for abused children — money that was in the governor’s budget,” she told colleagues.
And it’s money that the center’s backers say is critical to its continued operation.
Another override attempt was for $50,000 for the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, in the Department of Human Services. Democratic state senator Richard Codey of West Orange was seeing red.
“This is the largest single assault on people with mental illness that I have ever seen,” he said. “It is unbelievable.”
But Republican state senator Joseph Kyrillos of Monmounth County says lines must be drawn.
“We’re living in a new age here, and we have to be honest with people and we have to prioritize. And we can do only what we can do,” he says.
The vote to override the first two vetoes was 24-15, but 27 votes (including all Democrats and three Republicans) would be needed for an override to succeed.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060