Gov. Phil Murphy signs $38.7B budget without millionaires tax

Burlington County Times | 6/30/2019 | Staff
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Gov. Phil Murphy’s action brings to close this year’s battle with the Legislature dominated by members of his own party, but not necessarily the dispute over raising taxes to right the state’s finances versus reforming public employee pensions and health benefits.

TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy was good to his word and signed into law a state budget in time to avoid a government shutdown.

Budget - Murphy - Sunday - One - March

But the $38.7 billion budget Murphy signed Sunday was neither the one he proposed in March with a tax increase on millionaires, nor the one state lawmakers sent him 10 days ago, as the Democratic governor made use of his line-item veto authority to slash close to $50 million in spending from the budget bill approved by the Legislature and froze another $235 million in appropriations until certain savings and revenue growth are realized.

He also moved some $400 million into a so-called “rainy day” surplus to prepare for a likely recession in the near future and left some $875 million in undesignated fund balance, bringing the plan’s total surplus to just under $1.3 billion rather than the $1.46 billion in reserves the Legislature had budgeted.

Murphy - Actions - Year - Battle - Legislature

Murphy’s actions brings to close this year’s battle between himself and the Legislature dominated by members of his own party, but not necessarily the dispute over raising taxes to right the state’s finances versus reforming public employee pensions and health benefits.

The governor said as much during his remarks to dozens of supporters from public sector unions and progressive groups who packed into his administrative office lobby for his “budget announcement” Sunday.

Work - Year - Budget - Today - Middle-class

“The work on the fiscal year 2020 budget ends today. But the middle-class, and all those working to get there continues,” Murphy said.

His speech both celebrated the final spending plan, while also criticizing lawmakers for failing to deliver the tax increases he claims...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Burlington County Times
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