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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Coughlin sticking by legislative budget

By Nikita Biryukov, June 19 2019 1:21 pm

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin isn’t backing away from the legislative he and Senate President Steve Sweeney are pushing after Gov. Phil Murphy issued a thinly-veiled veto threat in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday.

“The budget we will be sending the governor tomorrow is fiscally responsible and sustainable. It funds our shared Democratic priorities, provides property tax relief for our most vulnerable citizens, fulfills our debt obligations and provides more than $1.4 billion in surplus funding in the event of a downturn,” Coughlin said. “Most importantly, it relies on the same responsible revenue projections that were borne out during the current fiscal year. We believe strongly that this is a fair, responsible budget and believe that the governor will agree once it reaches his desk.”

In his letter, Murphy raised alarms over the legislative budget’s dipping redirecting a $317 million deposit in to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, the first such deposit in more than a decade, and called into question lawmaker’s revenue projections for the state’s tax on corporations.

Democrats in the legislature are expected to send the budget to Murphy’s desk on Thursday, when votes on the appropriations bill are scheduled before both chambers.

Earlier Wednesday, Murphy indicated he would would line-item veto that budget should it reach his desk, though he did not offer any specifics about what portions of the bill he would excise.

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