Trenton Shocker: Murphy Vetoes Trenton’s MOU Lifting

Governor Murphy line-item vetoed the removal of Trenton from the state’s Memorandum of Understanding, putting an unexpected challenge in front of new Mayor Reed Gusciora.

The Trentonian reported that ‘in a shocking turn of events that left capital city leaders scrambling, Gov. Phil Murphy line-item vetoed the removal of Trenton from the MOU that required Department of Community affairs approval for new city hires as part of him signing into law a $37.4 billion budget deal that averted a state shutdown.’

Mayor Gusciora and the LD15 legislators were caught off-guard by the announcement, as per a statement released earlier this morning.  They had a scheduled press conference at 11am for this morning, which was cancelled, noting that under the budget passed by the Legislature, Trenton was removed from the ‘transitional aid’ category of state financial assistance.  They noted that they were made aware just this morning, and that ‘Senator Turner and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson will continue to work in the legislature, while the Mayor reaches out to the Governor.’

Later in the afternoon, Gusciora issued a statement saying he’s ‘obviously disappointed’ but would ‘continue to work with state officials’ and had received assurances that MOU concerns could be addressed.

From the Trentonian report, ‘Gusciora’s office held off on announcing the lifting of the MOU until late Monday, lauding it as a major boost for his administration that would help him cobble together his cabinet quicker since he wouldn’t need state approval for hires.

Gov. Murphy’s line-item veto that would have allowed Trenton to shift state transitional aid to Localities to Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Aid meant its “continued participation, fiscal assistance, and oversight” under the transitional aid program, according to the governor’s page on the state website.’

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