Defeated by Phil Murphy in last year’s Democratic Primary for Governor, former state Senator Ray Lesniak said he doesn’t mean to ascribe blame.
But as he observes the Trenton face-off between Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Governor Phil Murphy over the budget, he bemoans the failure of the two not getting together and talking months ago to avert the current circumstances.
He said Murphy doesn’t understand a fundamental part of the equation. Conversely, “Legislative leadership recognizes that if New Jersey doesn’t get a grip on cutting expenses we are not going to remain a Democratic state for long.”
Lesniak said the Democratic Party needed to champion significant government in the areas of healthcare, pensions and shared services and consolidations.
“There’s a compromise there: the Murphy tax increases coupled with real government reforms,” the former senator said.
It’s too late a lift for two weeks, he added.
The two sides needed to have been talking this out over the last number of months.
But if compromise exists, Lesniak reiterated the only formula that abides a proposed tax hike.
“It’s up to the Governor to recognize that and embrace that because as it is, it’s causing consternation across the board,” the retired senator said. “The Democratic Party needs to change its image with the taxpayers.”