TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's budget deliberations are headed for the wire.
Two of the principal dealmakers — Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney — are negotiating as they eye higher offices.
There's also a labor lawsuit hanging overhead to force elected officials to make required pension payments that won't be heard until June 25.
Christie plans to skip $2.25 billion in pension payments over the next 13 months to fill gaping budget holes.
His cost-cutting could play well with conservatives in early voting states if he decides to run for president in 2016.
Sweeney needs labor support to survive a contested Democratic primary if he runs for governor in 2017.
The Assembly will have to decide whether to go along with any deal brokered by Christie and Sweeney.