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NJ budget problems add to Christie 2016 challenge


NEW YORK (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is confronting major budget problems that threaten to complicate an already messy second term — and his presidential prospects.

The Republican governor already faces state and federal investigations into his administration’s role in an apparent plot to clog traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

On Tuesday, Christie blamed Democrats who control the state Legislature for a $1 billion budget gap that must be closed over the next six weeks. Next year’s hole could be $3 billion.

The renewed focus on Christie’s fiscal leadership highlights his state’s poor record on foreclosures, job growth and credit ratings.

New Jersey has one of the Northeast’s highest unemployment rates and the nation’s highest share of mortgages in foreclosure. Property taxes are the highest as a percentage of median income.