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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy slaps critics over opposition to bonding bill

‘Folks who are whining on this’ have no alternatives, Murphy says

By Nikita Biryukov, July 15 2020 3:14 pm

Gov. Phil Murpy slapped at critics to a borrowing plan the legislature is expected to pass Thursday.

“We wouldn’t attach our name to something if thought it was not completely constitutional and legal, and secondly, this is not a comment about legality, but it’s a comment on ‘what’s your plan B, folks out there?’ What else do you think we should be doing?” Murphy said.

Republican lawmakers have hammered the governor and Democratic leaders in the legislature over the plan, claiming it fails to pass constitutional muster and threatening to sue if it was signed into law.

The plan is a bid to help keep the state afloat amid a COVID-19 filled fiscal tumble that Treasury officials say has left the state with a $20 billion budget hole.

The bonding proposal would allow the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to plug those holes, but Republicans opposed the plan while offering few other options.

“It’s just ridiculous the absence of viable alternative public policy from folks who are whining on this,” Murphy said.

State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt disagreed.

“Opinions on constitutionality from someone who says the document is “above his pay grade” aren’t worth much,” Steinhardt said. “The alternatives @GovMurphy are looking for the @NJGOP has proposed for years: fiscal responsibility, pension reform & smaller smarter government.

This article was updated with comment from Steinhardt at 5:21 p.m.

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