Sweeney: We’ll Be Able to Reach a Budget Deal [AUDIO]
Will New Jersey's revenue shortfall affect the ability of state officials to hammer out a final budget deal? State Senate President Steve Sweeney doesn't think so.
"I think we're going to negotiate a budget deal for one reason - there's no money. When you see fights over budgets it's because there's money," Sweeney said.
In fact, Sweeney said the lack of funds can actually make it easier to negotiate a budget. "You know there's not a whole lot of expendable cash to take on new projects."
Despite money being tight, Sweeney said it's important to make sure some programs are funded.
What about Sweeney's relationship with Gov. Chris Christie? Does that help during the budget process?
"I have a personal relationship with the governor, I'm not gonna deny that. I like Chris as a person, but at the end of the day when we don't agree, we don't agree," Sweeney said.
Sweeney said just because Christie represents a different political party doesn't mean they can't be friends. "It amazes me that people think you have to dislike someone when they're on the other side. You can like someone and fight like hell too."
While admitting Christie hasn't been around as much as he once was, Sweeney said that doesn't mean he's not around, and they talk when he is around.
"We'll be sitting down and talking over the budget with the speaker of the assembly and the majority leaders in both houses, and we'll get rolling with it. There should be no problem hammering out a final budget deal," Sweeney said.