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Legislators advance bill to let Chris Christie write book

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) — A Democrat-led panel in the New Jersey Senate voted to advance legislation that allows Republican Gov. Chris Christie to profit from a book deal before he leaves office, while also raising legislative staff and judges' salaries.

The Senate Budget Committee voted 9-3 Thursday to advance the bill. The Assembly budget committee is also set to consider the bill.

Bipartisan supporters say change is necessary and long been in the works, but critics say it's "unseemly."

The legislation was introduced on Monday and is on a fast track to Christie.

The bill changes a law that prohibits the governor from drawing income beyond his $175,000 per year salary. It also includes raises of $30,000 to $140,000 in appropriations for each of the state's 120 lawmakers to spend on staff. It boosts judges' and prosecutors' salaries.

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