Legislators, Leaders Respond To Governor Murphy’s Budget Proposal

After Governor Murphy’s budget address to the Legislature this afternoon, where he presented his fiscal priorities for FY2019 in a $37.4 billion budget that includes a 4% spending increase and $1.5 billion in new revenue-seeking initiatives.

“This is a budget that is balanced both fiscally and morally,” the Governor said. “Our constitution requires the former, but our conscience demands the latter. It is a budget that recognizes that we will not solve the problems facing our middle class, seniors, and working families with short-term fixes. It is a budget that puts New Jersey families ahead of the wealthy and special interests – and that recognizes that we cannot build a brighter future by acting timidly and thinking small.”

Various legislators, leaders, and advocacy organizations released statements in response – some in support, some expressing optimism or caution, and others in opposition. Here’s what they had to say:

 

  • The Assembly Democratic leadership released a joint statement in response to Governor Murphy’s budget proposal: “We listened to the governor’s budget with great interest and promise a thorough and thoughtful review of his proposals. As always, the priority of our caucus is to protect the interests of New Jersey’s families.”

 

  • Assemblyman and Transportation Committee Chairman Benson welcomed the transportation infrastructure proposals, saying he ‘looks forward to thoughtful review‘ of the plans.

 

 

  • Assemblyman John McKeon touted NJ Transit funding in the proposed budget, saying he’s ‘proud of Governor Murphy for moving toward delivering on his promise to once again make NJ Transit a national leader in public transportation.’

 

Republican leaders lined up in opposition to Governor Murphy’s tax hike proposals:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Senate Minority Leader Kean said ‘we’re extremely disappointed that there’s no focus on spending restraint‘ and that ‘it seems that many legislators in both parties are skeptical‘ and vowed to ‘fully vet’ the budget proposal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick told Insider NJ ‘its deja vu all over again’ and is ‘shocked by the new spending‘; Bramnick compared Murphy to former Governor Florio in bemoaning the eight percent increase in spending
  • Senator Oroho said he is ‘very concerned that we are only adding to our reputation’ as an unaffordable state’, and plans to ‘fully review’ the budget proposal, but ‘increasing taxes to avoid fiscal discipline will set us on a path backwards

 

Various advocacy groups offered both praise and concern for Governor Murphy’s priorities in his first budget address:                                                                                                                                                                           
  • NJBIA President Michele Sierkerka said some of the revenue enhancements, such as the millionaire’s tax ‘gave us pause

 

  • NJ Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken says he wants more ‘details‘ from Murphy, saying all funding proposals need to be ‘fully vetted and analyzed‘ in the context of business out-migration that hampers the state’s economy.  

 

  • NJ Policy Perspective President Gordona MacInnes said the address included ‘important first steps‘ but ‘bolder action is required’ to recapture losses from federal tax cuts
  • CWA State Director Hetty Rosenstein said the Governor ‘did not disappoint’ and called it a ‘good first budget
  • Planned Parenthood’s Christine Sadovy said Murphy ‘has once again reaffirmed his commitment to women’s health in New Jersey’ with his pledge to continue funding women’s health programs
  • NJ-RAMP spokesperson Jeannette Hoffman issued a statement in opposition to the Governor’s plan to legalize marijuana in order to raise money for the budget
  • NJ Cannabis Industry Association President Hugh O’Beirne said the proposed budget ‘shows Governor Murphy has the commitment and the courage‘ to deliver on marijuana expansion
  • Better Choices, Better Care spokesman Chris Donnelly said the Governor’s call to action on out-of-network issues offers ‘great promise for finally fixing this longstanding problem’
  • ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha echoed Governor Murphy’s priorities of family planning funding, marijuana legalization, and immigrant legal representation and said they are ‘optimistic‘ about the budget’s priorities on those issues
  • A coalition of advocates will held a press conference on Wednesday, organized by Better Choices for NJ, in support of the Governor’s budget

 

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