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

No timeline on FY2021 budget, Murphy says

Governor has until Aug. 25 to submit budget to lawmakers

By Nikita Biryukov, June 09 2020 2:57 pm

There’s no timeline for when Gov. Phil Murphy will submit next year’s budget to the legislature.

“No update on timing, but clearly the ability to bond and the need for federal direct cash assistance are two huge wild cards, and we need both,” Murphy said. “You’ve heard me get red-faced and pound the table on that. I don’t think I need to continue to do that.”

The governor added that he would meet with legislative leadership to discuss the budget later this week, and he’s meeting with Senate President Steve Sweeney on a non-budgetary matter later Tuesday.

Though the Assembly last week passed a measure allowing the state to bond up to $5 billion to plug budget holes created by the COVID-19 crisis, a companion bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate, and Sweeney has kept a cool regard toward the borrowing bill.

At the latest, the governor must submit his budget to the legislature by August 25, Murphy chief counsel Matt Platkin said.

It’s not clear what the nine-month budget will look like, nor is it clear whether additional federal aid will come before the deadline, but Murphy said he intends to have information about the budget out sooner rather than later.

“We obviously need to make sure we do it expeditiously and we do it in full transparency, with a process that everyone can look into, as we normally do,” he said. “I’ve said this many times before: New Jersey does the budget thing really well relative to other states.”

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