TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The debate over public employee pension and health benefits legislation wound up taking so much time that the New Jersey Legislature is under the gun to approve a state budget in nine days.

Public hearings on a budget bill are being penciled in for Monday and final votes tentatively set for June 30 before the bill has been drafted — even before Democrats have firmly decided whether to craft their own budget or tinker within the framework of the $29.4 billion proposal Republican Gov. Chris Christie introduced in February.

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