Listen to audio version of this article
Governor Phil Murphy this afternoon in strong terms reacted to the early findings of his task force investigating NJEDA tax incentive programs, which were disclosed last night in a report following a judge’s ruling related to the case. He said that he would veto any bills from the NJ legislature related to the programs that did not include reforms.
“No one is above the law,” said Murphy, reacting to the report, which contains details about false EDA application preparation by an ally of South Jersey Power Broker George Norcross III working at Cooper Hospital.
Murphy swore to continue to account for what he said was $11 billion in tax breaks related to the EDA.
“We are not dealing with a broken system,” said the governor. “This is a rigged system. This was designed by special interests for special interests.”
He denounced the flowing of hundreds of millions of dollars to insiders.
“This system cannot be allowed to continue for one day past June 30th,” Murphy said. “Let me perfectly clear. If the legislature sent me renewal [of the EDA tax program, scheduled for a vote on Thursday] without necessary reforms, it will be vetoed.
“I was elected to benefit the 9 million people of this great state,” the governor added. “This is one of those moments that begs the question: whose side are you on? I remain on the side of small businesses and the middle class. They deserve an incentive that works for them.”
He made the case to reporters in a q and a session after his – and his allies – remarks.
“If what I’m sent is an extension of the current programs, I will veto them,” Murphy said.