TRENTON – The players again emerged from behind closed doors and again there was no budget deal between legislative leadership and Governor Phil Murphy.
“No where good,” a source told InsiderNJ when asked about developments.
Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney were moments away from giving an update.
According to two sources, Sweeney offered Governor Murphy his support for a mega million tax: five million and up, and the Governor refused.
On schedule, the legislative leaders entered room 103 of the Statehouse and said they had placed a $36.5 billion budget on his desk and it’s now entirely on him whether the state government shuts down before the July 1st deadline in 24 hours.
Sweeney, Coughlin, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin.
“We offered the governor a version of the millionaire’s tax,” Coughlin told reporters. “In response, the Governor offered no compromise, no counter proposal. He rejected it out of hand.”
“The Governor believes negotiation consists of one side,” Sweeney added. “This is extremely frustrating to me. We have proven our budget meets all constitutional requirements. He has not compromised. We provided the revenues, he said they were not real. But when we presented them side by side [he acquiesced].
“He is more concerned with protecting corporations that had windfalls from Donald Trump and he would rather raise taxes on the people of New Jersey,” he added.
Sweeney canceled a scheduled Saturday session and rescheduled it for Monday. The senate president said he intends to be in Trenton tomorrow. Coughlin still has a scheduled session in the assembly tomorrow, he said.
Weinberg said she was particularly disappointed, and sent out a message to the state’s progressive coalition.
“We made a big step forward [with the offer of a millionaire’s tax],” said the senate majority leader. “We’ve lived up to those progressive values. What we lived up to today was that the wealthiest among us pay their fair share. My hope is the Governor will call us back.”
During a q and a with reporters, Sweeney expressed his particular frustration over Murphy’s resistance to the senate president’s proposal of a CBT hike to 12% to raise $2.9 billion.
“The millionaire’s tax was something we were able to compromise on, but at some point you can’t win when someone is not willing to compromise,” said the senate president. “I was vehemently opposed to the millionaire’s tax. I was willing to compromise. The Governor was not willing to compromise. If he chooses to line item or cut he will be intentionally hurting people.”
Coughlin said the rejected CBT proposal started at three percent to one over the course of four years.
“All we’ve done this year is talk about spending,” the senate president said. “If they’re not going to offer something on the cost side, we’re never going to solve the tax problem in this state.”
The senate president said everything the Governor asked for was in the budget with the exception of $25 million for community colleges.
“There’s never been a counter offer to anything we had on the table,” Greenwald said.
“He wants it exactly his way and no other way,” said Sweeney. “That’s what they did at Goldman Sachs, not in the legislature.”