TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Partisan bickering over New Jersey’s $29.7 billion state budget resumed Tuesday, with fresh charges that Gov. Chris Christie used his veto pen to punish political foes and the governor’s office condemning the Senate leader for “inappropriate and disrespectful” comments aimed at Christie.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he was regretful but unapologetic for calling Christie “a bully and a punk” to The Star-Ledger on Friday as the impact of the governor’s last-minute budget cuts sunk in. Christie chiseled $1.3 billion in spending — including $900 million that Democrats added in — in a frenzy of line-item vetoes that left deep gashes to an array of programs and services for some of the most vulnerable residents.

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