TRENTON – At a press conference this afternoon at a Trenton school house, with time ticking down and no state budget deal in sight, Governor Phil Murphy signaled his reluctant willingness to proceed with line item cuts – if legislators do not give him the millionaire’s tax.
“Unless we get our fiscal house in order line item vetoes will be my only options,” Murphy told reporters. “Time is running out.”
July 1st is the deadline.
The Governor held his press conference flanked by Senator Shirley Turner (D-15), Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Trenton Mayor-elect Reed Gusciora, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-15), and Department of Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, among others.
“We’re not taking anything off the table. I don’t want this thing to shut down. I want to be the guy to protect the middle class,” Murphy said. “But everything has to be on the table. We’re war gaming a whole series of different scenarios.”
When a reporter asked the Governor if he had consulted with former Governor Jon Corine, he said, “I have not consulted with Governor Corzine.”
Then he cracked, in a reference to a snarky twitter endzone dance by Governor Chris Christie when South Korea beat Murphy’s team, German, in the World Cup, “nor have I consulted with the South Korean soccer team.”
Moments later, “If we reach an agreement, believe me, we’re going to lie across the tracks to keep the government going.”