Democrats Pass Murphy’s Budget over Condemnation by GOP Senators


Over vociferous GOP entreaties checked by a reminder by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) for them – amid chafing – to keep their masks in place, the state Senate this morning passed Senate Bill No. 2021, which appropriates $32,711,205,000 in State funds and $13,856,161,239 in federal funds for the State budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The budget hinges on an accompanying bill that imposes a millionaire’s tax. The gross income tax rate under current law is 8.97 percent for income between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, and 10.75 percent for income over $5,000,000. This bill applies the 10.75 percent rate to gross income exceeding $1,000,000.

The vote was 25-14.

It was on party lines. Senator Robert Holzapfel (R-10) was absent.

Senator Sarlo


“This is a COVID budget,” explained state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), chair of the Senate Budget Committee.  “It’s a spending plan to address problems created by the coronavirus crisis. We have hit the tipping point. This is not a normal budget and these are not normal times.”

Senator Steve Oroho (R-24) rose in opposition to the budget, the first among his GOP caucus colleagues to condemn the Democratic Party spending plan.

“We disagree on many issues but we respectfully do it,” said Oroho, who proceeded to lament the legislature’s rejection of the bulk of Sweeney’s Path to Progress.

Several Republican senators praised Sweeney for trying to reduce spending, a battle gobbled up by the COVID-19 crisis, which GOP lawmakers said Governor Phil Murphy used to inflate state spending.

Oroho pointed a finger of blame at Murphy.

It would be a common theme for the GOP this morning.

“We’re now 16% more in spending than when he took office,” said Oroho, who ticked off budget items that puzzled him, including a golf course in Essex County, “in a budget where you thought the sky was falling” when Murphy first presented it to the legislature.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) acknowedged that 2020 was truly an insane year.

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“We heard this for years, that we were at a tipping point,” O’Scanlon said. “Senate President, you led the way [Path to Progress]… now would have been the time to do it, and force this irresponsible governor to come along.

“This governor has no intention of reforming this state’s fiscal mess,” he added.  “Borowing to increase pension payments is arbitrary.”

“I’m ashamed of this budget,” concurred Senator Robert Singer (R-30). “If you vote for this budget, you should be ashamed.”

“Governor Murphy ran on a platform of raising taxes, and, boy, has he delivered,” said Senator Tony Bucco, Jr. (R-25). “You found Christmas tree money… for spots around the state. [$200 million for special projects at a time like this]. It’s just part of a $4.5 billion borrowing scheme.”

“Clearly, there are some regional issues in this budget, but they’ve been in all the budgets I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” sarlo shot back in defense of the budget.

No long term fixes to healthcare costs, Bucco noted.

Senator Bucco
Senator Bucco


“This budget’s a trainwreck, and unfortunately the people of New Jersey are the passengers on that train,” said Senator Kip Bateman (R-16). “We have failed the taxpayers of New Jersey.”

Senator Mike Testa (R-1) savaged the budget.

“You can see the orgy of fake pork… [in] its corpulent mouth,” he said.

“People want a job, they don’t want a $500 rebate,” said Senator Sam Thompson (R-12).

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Senator Dick Codey (D-27) pushed back against the Republicans, noting the long skid of credit rating downgrades budgets during the eight years of Governor Chris Christie.

“Murphy doesn’t have downgrades, he has upgrades,” Codey said. “It’s an embarrassment.”

He briefly clashed with Sweeney, a cross-the-aisle of Christie during those years, and a backer of the $11.5 billion in tax breaks that went to the business connections of George Norcross, a staunch fellow Christie ally.

“This state has been driven to fiscal ruin,” lamented Oroho.

“No one’s going to be left to pay the bill. You can’t have a welfare state without [other people’s money],” said Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39). “We’re putting ourselves in a bigger and bigger hole.”

Vote no, he urged.

Republicans did and Democrats didn’t, as the Senate was poised to also pass the accompanying bill to increase the gross income tax rate applicable to taxpayers with gross income exceeding $1,000,000 in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.

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3 responses to “Democrats Pass Murphy’s Budget over Condemnation by GOP Senators”

  1. They need to investigate Steve Sweeney and Congressman Donald Norcross for funneling millions of dollars into the non profit organization Acenda formally Robins Nest. ACENDA AKA ROBINS NEST is run by their good buddy and friend ANTHONY DiFabio who is a political alley for Sweeney in the Cumberland, Gloucester Area. This is just wrong and should have the SEC look into how Congressman Donald Norcross has been dumping millions WITHOUT other RFP’s to other Non Profit Organizations. He’s also had Inside information on these grants. He’s given close to $10 MILLION DOLLARS TO ANTHONY DIFABIO from ACENDA and the money on the Chafee funds needs to be investigated as well. The youth in the DYFS system have not gotten their money. DYFS commissioner appointed by Murphy and approved by Senator Sweeney has been cutting millions out of non profit programs that benefit kids of color. It is a heartless situation and corruption in our state and federal government to see these white leaders abuse power and commit these criminal acts. looks like a deal was made between that white commissioner and sweeney to help take money from non profits that are not affiliated to their buddy and friend Anthony Difabio

    Is this the same Difabio, if so, this needs to be investigated

    IS this guy another Doug Long

    They need to look into this mental health and all this money this congressman, senator and his shady CEO from ACENDA

  2. I find it hysterical how Sweeney now leads the Murphy Puppet Brigade. What is he going to do when there is no middle class left for him to pander and his union boys are out of work because no businesses are left to hire them? I guess he’s afraid of Mini-Me Tammy.

  3. New Jersey elected officials a corrupt
    And a complete Joke. The state has been F’d up forever. Not one of these corrupt
    Governors have had the balls to have the AG indict that uneducated, criminal Stephen
    Sweeney. He is a wicked piece of
    Crap who should be under a major
    Federal investigation for abusing
    Power and violating the color of
    Law. He should not be serving in any form of government. He sexually harasses women and covers up his criminal activities. He’s a damn joke and a disgrace to mankind. He’s a two faced piece of crap who dictates to these commissioners he has senate approve
    He criminally redirects money to his pet projects to benefit George and Donald Norcross. He and Christie RAPED Camden and Atlantic City which creates the poorest cities in the Nation. The reason NJ is in Ruins is because of Sweeney; Norcross; Christie and the weak was greedy governors who play let’s make a deal. No good will come to
    Any of these crooks. They turned their
    Back on the people and their will face Gods wrath and so will their loved ones. They may think they are getting away with their corruption but God sees ALL

    This is what is just blatantly criminal Down right Sinister.

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