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Lawmakers greenlight bill to give Christie a book deal

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/15/2016
FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J., for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump. Christie could profit from a book deal before he leaves office, while legislative staff and judges' salaries would rise under a bill being considered in the Assembly and Senate. Both chambers are expected to weigh the measure in committee on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J., for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump. Christie could profit from a book deal before he leaves office, while legislative staff and judges' salaries would rise under a bill being considered in the Assembly and Senate. Both chambers are expected to weigh the measure in committee on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Democrat-led New Jersey Assembly and Senate advanced legislation to let Republican Gov. Chris Christie cash in on a book deal before he leaves office while also raising legislative staff, judges' and other officials' salaries.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee Thursday voted 8-0, with two abstentions, to advance the measure, hours after the Senate Budget Committee voted 9-3 for the bill.

Supporters say change is necessary and long in the works, but critics say it burdens taxpayers to help "political elites."

It now goes to both chambers for a vote.

The bill ends a requirement that the governor draw only his $175,000 per year salary. It also raises by $30,000 to $140,000 appropriations for each of the state's 120 lawmakers to spend on staff. It boosts judges' and prosecutors' salaries.

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