The state's privatized system was criticized for oversight and conditions at recent legislative hearings. The Assembly and Senate hearings followed a series of articles in the New York Times describing escapes, violence, security lapses, drug use and other problems at the halfway houses, some of which are as large as prisons.
Christie said he "wholeheartedly supports" efforts to save taxpayer money and concurs with the intent to monitor privatization contracts but believed the bill, as written, would frustrate those attempts.
The company that dominates the market, Community Education Centers, has close ties to Christie. The company's senior vice president is Bill Palatucci, Christie's former law partner and a close political adviser.
When contacted Thursday, Palatucci referenced the company's previous statement that it looked forward to working with lawmakers to correct any problems.
The measure was one of more than a dozen the administration announced action on while Christie is campaigning on the West Coast.
Christie also rejected an effort in June to improve halfway house oversight by vetoing new disclosure requirements.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D., Cape May), told the Bergen Record he would go along with the changes Christie suggested.