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Originally published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

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Christie budget message expected to focus on Sandy

Gov. Chris Christie is expected to deliver an austere budget message as New Jersey struggles to regain its footing after the worst natural disaster in its history.

Associated Press

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TRENTON, N.J. —

Gov. Chris Christie is expected to deliver an austere budget message as New Jersey struggles to regain its footing after the worst natural disaster in its history.

His budget is expected to focus on rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.

His address to the Legislature is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday

The governor is counting on billions of dollars in federal Sandy relief funding to boost construction jobs and help communities that lost part of their tax base when homes were destroyed and businesses closed.

The first $1.8 billion in Sandy aid is due in April. But New Jersey could see $100 million less than expected if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to strike a deal on federal budget cuts set to take effect Friday.

Preschool classes and regional airports could also be shuttered.

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