TRENTON - Deflecting criticism that the legislation had been so watered down it would be ineffective, New Jersey lawmakers yesterday advanced two more bills aimed at curbing the country's highest property taxes.

Senators approved, 22-17, the creation of a state comptroller to keep spending in check by rooting out financial abuses and corruption.

They then endorsed, 39-1, legislation designed to rein in the cost of public employee retirement and health benefits and end pension abuses.

Both bills head to the Assembly. - Inquirer staff