For The Many: Gov. Murphy’s Budget Makes Critical Investments in New Jersey’s Future

Earlier today, Governor Murphy delivered his third annual budget address for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The $40.9 billion budget detailed new investments in education, transportation infrastructure, tax credits for working families, and much more. In response to the address, the For The Many NJ coalition releases the following statements.

 

“Governor Murphy’s budget makes critical, new investments in programs working families rely on, putting the needs of ordinary people over those of corporate special interests,” said Sue Altman, Executive Director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance and Co-Convener for For The Many NJ. “With increased funding for public education, from pre-K through college, NJ Transit, and tax credits for working families, the governor is building a strong foundation for New Jersey’s future. This budget also takes necessary steps to meet the state’s obligations and prepare for the next economic downturn or superstorm with a record-setting payment into the  public pension system and another deposit into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.”

 

“We are pleased to see Governor Murphy is committed to repairing years of flat funding for key programs, raids on dedicated funds, and disinvestment across the board,” said Brandon McKoy, President of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) and Co-Convener of For The Many NJ. “This is a fiscally responsible budget that brings New Jersey closer to reaching its full potential. For the state to create an economy that works for the many, New Jersey needs big and bold tax reform to fully fund programs and services that were slashed over the past decade. The millionaires tax is an important step toward that goal but, with wealth inequality at an all-time high, the state can and must do more to ensure millionaires and big corporations pay their fair share. State lawmakers must explore repealing Christie-era tax cuts that primarily benefited ultra-wealthy families and corporations in order to truly address income inequality and reduce the racial wealth gap.”

 

Below are statements from members of For The Many NJ: 

 

Dena Mottola Jaborska, Associate Director, New Jersey Citizen Action: 

“The governor’s proposed budget invests heavily in critical priorities such as education, healthcare, transportation, pension funding,  expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for our lowest paid workers and our rainy day fund. These are sound investments that will help ensure all New Jerseyans have the opportunities they need to prosper. We applaud the governor in his efforts to secure new sources of revenue and commend his continued commitment to ensuring New Jersey’s wealthiest pay their fair share through a millionaires tax. We thank Senate President Sweeney for his willingness to work with the governor on this issue and urge the Legislature to show its full support for all revenue raisers and budget measures, including capping our state’s corporate subsidy programs. We can’t fund the investments we need to make New Jersey work for everyone without them.”

 

Eric Benson, Campaign Director, Clean Water Action:

“The climate and water crises are getting worse, require global action, and we must be a leader. The governor’s climate rules, NJ Transit, BPU’s Clean Energy Fund, and DEP’s drinking water programs are all severely underfunded. After 25 years of fiscal irresponsibility, it is critical that the governor and legislature work together to secure new revenue for these prudent and desperately needed investments.”

 

Sergio Baron, a 24-year old worker and member, Make the Road – New Jersey: 

“New Jersey ranks tenth of all states in severity of income inequality. Disparities between those at the top and everyone else are growing every day as the wealthy and well-connected take advantage of federal and state tax codes to enrich themselves. Working adults without children are the lone group that the federal tax code excludes from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which results in them getting taxed into or deeper into poverty. Our members applaud Governor Phil Murphy’s proposal to expand the state earned income tax credit for workers without children by expanding the age limit from 25 to 21, as it will boost the take home pay of more than 60,000 residents across the state!”

 

Staci Berger, President and CEO, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey: 

“Governor Murphy is being true to his word by investing in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create the homes New Jersey’s residents and economy need.  New Jersey remains number one in the foreclosure crisis and is the sixth most expensive place to rent a two bedroom apartment in the country. In order for our economy to be stronger and fairer to all, everyone must have an affordable, safe place to call home. We applaud the governor and his Administration for delivering on the promise to provide critical resources to help to make sure we can address the housing needs of all of our residents. We look forward to working with the Murphy administration, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and the entire Legislature to adopt a budget that includes full funding of the trust fund so our communities and neighbors can thrive.”

 

Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey

“Historic investments in NJ Transit are desperately needed and welcome. But NJ Transit budgets still rely on habitual raiding of the Clean Energy Fund. There needs to be a commitment to provide a stable, dedicated funding source for NJ Transit, to use Clean Energy Fund transit dollars to electrify NJ Transit buses and then permanently dedicate the Clean Energy Fund.”

 

Sharon Krengel, Policy and Outreach Director, Education Law Center: 

“We appreciate Governor Murphy’s proposed increase in K-12 aid. It is imperative that the aid increase be targeted to districts currently funded below adequacy under the SFRA formula. An additional $50 million for districts hit by Senate Bill 2 aid cuts is welcome, but we will continue to push for no state aid cuts in districts with adequacy gaps.”

 

For The Many is a statewide coalition of more than 30 organizations working collectively to expand funding for essential services and improve budget practices to adequately meet current and future needs, especially for communities that have been historically marginalized. 

 

Steering committee members include: New Jersey Policy Perspective, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Work Environment Council, Environment New Jersey, Make the Road New Jersey, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, New Jersey Education Association, Communications Workers of America – NJ, Amalgamated Transit Union – NJ, Clean Water Action – NJ.

 

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