Sources: No One Talking Full-Blown Veto

TRENTON – On the first Monday after the Legislature defiantly presented its own $35.6 billion budget to Governor Phil Murphy, sources said “no one [sic] talking veto yet.”

Hours before Murphy had a scheduled 1:30 p.m. press conference, a source acknowledged more meetings, but shied away from acknowledging a full-blown package veto of the legislature’s budget by the Governor and suggested Murphy will take a much more surgical approach.

“In their rush to score political points, the legislature gave him all the cards,” a Murphy ally said. “They will be the ones forcing Phil to cut a bunch of investments.”

No source on Monday acted like the legislature would be able to muster a two-thirds override to counter the Governor’s cuts.

A Murphy veto of the corporate business tax, sent to his desk as a revenue bill separate from the budget, “remains an option,” the source added.

But a second source said his understanding is that Murphy will sign both bills: the budget and CBT. He won’t simply gulp down the CBT, however. A source speculated that the Governor would alter the CBT percentage, repackage his millionaire’s tax proposal to target income earners of $5 million and over, and offer a sales tax phase-in.

“He’s going to cave. That’s what it’s looking like,” the source said of the Governor, predicting multiple line items only.

“Full blown veto unlikely but rewrite and pinning down legislature on timing may work,” said a third source. “Most think that there won’t be override votes. Bu I disagree with the naïve person that said that Murphy has all the cards. Any cuts he makes he owns and the Murphy camp has not shown a high level of message competency.”

UPDATE: As the morning progressed, a more aggressive Murphy inner sanctum voice emerged making the case for a veto.

However, by day’s end a deal appeared likely.

 

 

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