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Closing state parks and beaches only hurts people, a mild Governor Phil Murphy said today in Secaucus, and that to avoid a NJ government shutdown, he will sign the 2020 budget.
Jammed up with the legislature over disagreements over the 2020 budget, the governor nonetheless said he does not want to tread on the July 4th plans of New Jerseyans.
“I can”t play politics with innocent lives in the state,” Murphy said. “I’ve taken shutting this government down off the table.”
He will sign the $38.7 billion budget on time in order to avoid a government shutdown.
“I will meet our constitutional deadline,” the governor promised, signaling an end to this budget season’s budget spat with Trenton lawmakers.
“Our investments will be made without delay,” he added.
Murphy applauded the $50 million the legislature stuck in the budget for NJ Transit.
“This,” he said, “is one that got done the right way.”
The announcement produced an immediate flurries of high fives at the statehouse among those allies of legislative leaders who gave Murphy a budget without the millionaire’s tax and rainy day funding he craved.
“He caved,” a source sneered.
“Your statehouse sources won’t be sneering on Sunday,” said a Murphy ally, hinting at budget line items the governor will choose to exercise.
NJ Transit funding won’t be one of them.
But the governor’s political enemies with tentacles into the legislature on Thursday made calls to heavy hitters, preparing for Murphy cuts totaling – conceivably – up to $400 million.
“Being told bad idea,” the source said, then added: “Game. Set. Match.”
Murphy disagreed with the characterization of a kayo loss.
“In a sense, I’m conceding nothing,” the governor said.
He mostly got what he wanted, he said, though he decried the legislature’s tone deafness on cutting the community college grant.
His advocacy for tax fairness will not change, he said. Although there will not be a millionaire’s tax in the 2020 budget, he will carry his cause into the next fiscal year, beginning on Monday.
“If anything our megaphone will get louder,” the governor said.