Gov. Phil Murphy

Bob Karp/The Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

Murphy: Legislators' Budget Plan Is 'Return To Chris Christie's New Jersey'

June 25, 2018 - 5:31 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Five days out from a potential government shutdown in New Jersey, it does not appear that lawmakers in Trenton are any closer to cutting a budget deal.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reported, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said there is still plenty of time to hammer out a budget deal. But the clock is ticking.

And in what some might call an act of defiance, the state Assembly and Senate sent a budget to Murphy’s desk – despite knowing full well he is not a fan of it.

"This budget marks a return to Chris Christie’s New Jersey,” Murphy said, “and silly me – I thought we had moved on."

Murphy said the budget includes short-term funding for long-term problems such as education, pensions, and NJ TRANSIT.

"In other words, forget us returning to this crisis a year from now,” he said. “New Jersey would be facing an immediate, fiscal, emergency."

Murphy’s staff at the state Treasurer’s office said the budget would be nearly $1 billion. But down the street, state legislative leaders think differently.

"We believe in the numbers in our budget," said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge).

Coughlin said the Office of Legislative Services has given the budget a thumbs up, and there is no reason not to believe that.

"The budget that was passed by the Legislature is a budget that people can rely on and that we should move forward with," he said.

The key difference is taxes. Murphy wants a millionaires’ tax and an increase to the sales tax, while state Assembly and Senate leaders would rather see the corporate tax rate go up.

The governor and legislators have until July 1 to hammer out a deal before a government shutdown for the second year in a row would begin.