Home>Governor>Statements on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Budget Address

Gov. Phil Murphy at his FY2024 Budget Address, February 28, 2023. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Statements on Gov. Phil Murphy’s Budget Address

By David Wildstein, February 28 2023 3:10 pm


“Governor Murphy has increased state spending by 50% since he took office, including the nearly $3.5 billion increase he has planned for next year.  Despite all of this spending, he continues to cut aid to hundreds of school districts and has failed to provide real inflation relief to New Jerseyans. He’s continuing to pour billions into slush funds controlled by Democrat party bosses, while ignoring Republican plans to increase transparency and oversight of state spending.”

“New Jersey deserves relief from tax bracket creep and higher payroll taxes that will continue to take more from their wallets more next year.  When the state is flush with money, there’s no excuse for Governor Murphy to continue ignoring tax relief that would make a big difference to families and businesses struggling with inflation. I’m also concerned there’s no tax deduction for contributions to charitable organizations that offer important services in our communities that governments would otherwise have to provide at taxpayer expense. ”

“Since he took office, Governor Murphy has cut funding each year to hundreds of rural and suburban school districts.  If we’re funneling $1 billion more into education, there shouldn’t be cuts to any school districts, especially as we’re dealing with plunging test scores and pandemic learning loss across New Jersey.”

“Republicans have proposed fixes to stop wasteful spending and offer inflation relief that Democrats have ignored. We’ve proposed more transparent and fair processes for using pandemic and debt relief funds to help taxpayers, lower state debt, and fund important programs. We’ve proposed targeted tax cuts to make the state more competitive, and proposed protecting our schools from harmful cuts in state aid. We can address all of these problems with the solutions Republicans have proposed.”


“Today’s budget address continues to reinforce our commitment to investing in our families by doubling the child tax credit, investing in student mental health and bringing us closer to fully funding our schools. I am grateful to have the Governor as a partner in our continued efforts to address the teacher shortage, expand access to early childhood education and bolster the childcare infrastructure. I look forward to the budget discussions and continuing the critical work of repairing and building new schools and ensuring the state has a robust plan in place to address the learning loss that has compounded over the last three years. These efforts underscore our commitment as a state to invest in the next generation and work towards a day when all of our students and families have access to the highest quality education in the country regardless of where they live in this state.”


“Governor Murphy’s proposed FY2024 budget is a strong, smart start. We share the priorities of addressing affordability for New Jersey families while making prudent investments for the future.

“We look forward to building on the largest property tax relief program in state history, lowering prescription drug costs for our seniors, and continuing to find a way to support our seniors. The Governor’s proposed renewal and expansion of property tax relief programs like ANCHOR and the Senior Freeze demonstrates Democrats’ commitment to making New Jersey more affordable. Similarly, increased school aid will not only help students and teachers but will also ease local tax burdens across the state.

“We welcome the Governor’s fiscally responsible budget that continues to invest in programs and services that New Jerseyans have come to expect. Things like paying down debt, helping New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents and supporting working families through an expanded Child Tax Credit. We look forward to a robust review of the proposal in the weeks and months ahead.”


“I welcome the Governor’s proposed budget to address the needs of the people of New Jersey in a fiscally responsible way. His plan puts the focus on our shared priorities of making New Jersey more affordable, addressing the needs of working people, supporting vital services and expanding economic opportunity.

“This is a budget plan we can work with. It addresses our top priority of property tax relief, includes no tax increases, no fare increases for NJ Transit, a boost in aid for education, and a full pension payment. That’s a strong foundation for a meaningful budget.

“We will review the proposal thoroughly and work to develop a state budget that uses resources efficiently to make life more affordable for our residents and invests in the programs that improve economic opportunities. We will put in place a budget that addresses immediate needs and builds a better future.”


“Today’s budget address continues to reinforce our commitment to investing in our families by doubling the child tax credit, investing in student mental health and bringing us closer to fully funding our schools. I am grateful to have the Governor as a partner in our continued efforts to address the teacher shortage, expand access to early childhood education and bolster the childcare infrastructure. I look forward to the budget discussions and continuing the critical work of repairing and building new schools and ensuring the state has a robust plan in place to address the learning loss that has compounded over the last three years. These efforts underscore our commitment as a state to invest in the next generation and work towards a day when all of our students and families have access to the highest quality education in the country regardless of where they live in this state.”


“Republicans have proposed fixes to stop wasteful spending and offer inflation relief that Democrats have ignored.  We’ve proposed more transparent and fair processes for using pandemic and debt relief funds to help taxpayers, lower state debt, and fund important programs. We’ve proposed targeted tax cuts to make the state more competitive, and proposed protecting our schools from harmful cuts in state aid. We can address all of these problems with the solutions Republicans have proposed.”

“We support paying down debt, but we shouldn’t put billions into an opaque slush fund controlled by Democrat party bosses.  There’s no guarantee any of the money will be used to pay down debt. It can just as easily be used to fund pork projects favored by Democrat bosses and falsely billed as ‘debt prevention.’ That remains true for billions in remaining pandemic relief funds as well. Transparency and oversight of the process for approving the use of these funds needs to increase substantially. Proposed uses of debt and pandemic relief funds should be approved by the full Legislature after open public hearings. The current closed JBOC process is ripe for abuse.”


“We’re concerned that there’s still no mention of indexing income tax brackets for inflation as we’ve proposed to provide inflation relief to New Jerseyans.  This is a simple solution employed by both the federal government and 37 other states to protect low- and moderate-income workers and families from the harmful impact of tax bracket creep. There’s also no deduction for charitable donations to the non-profits that serve our communities. These charitable organizations provide important services in hundreds of communities that government agencies would otherwise have to provide at taxpayer expense. It’s time to finally implement these common-sense proposals that Republicans have offered for years.”


“Any insinuation that Governor Murphy is a tax cutter is laughable.  He’s raised income, business, and payroll taxes by billions of dollars since he took office. His school aid cuts to hundreds of rural and suburban school districts have driven property tax increases across New Jersey. He’s done nothing to stop automatic tax and toll increases or address tax bracket creep as Republicans have proposed.”


“Governor Murphy signed the corporate business tax surcharge into law and broke his promise by extending it for years until the end of 2023.  He doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for finally keeping his word to let it expire years late. Even with the surcharge expiration, New Jersey will still have one of the highest business taxes in the nation. It’s part of the reason that New Jersey consistently has the worst business climate in the U.S. in national rankings. We need to do more to make New Jersey more competitive.”

“Every year since Governor Murphy took office, hundreds of school districts have had more and more of their aid cut, even as total state funding for education has increased.  If we’re going to spend a billion more on schools next year, there’s no reason any district should have their funding cut to the detriment of students and property taxpayers, especially when every district is struggling with the impact of inflation on their budgets.”


“Gov. Murphy’s FY 2024 budget proposal is another fiscally reckless and irresponsible budget that is a gut punch to taxpayers and families. The governor might like to talk a good game, but the truth is his disastrous fiscal policies continue to drive people out of the state and make it impossible for business owners to thrive, prosper and create jobs here. “Many small business owners have yet to recover from his oppressive, dictatorial Covid lockdowns. As the owner of two restaurants, I know firsthand how much damage that did, and while I was lucky to survive, many other businesses ended up shutting their doors for good. Meanwhile, New Jersey families are continuing to see their quality of life erode due to the governor’s abysmal stewardship of our economy coupled with Joe Biden’s rampant inflation.“The answer for their troubles is not the same, failed big-government ideas Trenton Democrats have inflicted on our state for the past two decades with ruinous results. The solution is getting state government off their backs. “As a former mayor who actually cut the size of my town budget in real dollars and lowered taxes for residents, I know what it takes to do the same with our state budget and get New Jersey back on track. Residents of LD24 can rest assured that this is the kind of strong, conservative leadership I will bring to Trenton when I am elected to the state Senate.”


“I’m delighted to see the Governor’s budget include so many historic investments in our state. The extension of the ANCHOR program, the expansion of the Senior Freeze program, and the largest single infusion of funds into our public schools represent extraordinary property tax relief – the most in our state’s history. With no new taxes for the third year in a row, an expansion of free pre-K, and a doubling of the state child tax credit, we are reaffirming our commitment to ensure our state remains affordable for middle-class families. This budget will also boost our regional competitiveness by sunsetting our corporate business surtax, bringing us in line with our neighbors and inviting quality, high-paying jobs to relocate to New Jersey. Importantly, this budget prioritizes fiscal responsibility by paying off our debts, funding a third consecutive year of full pension payments, and preserving the largest budget surplus in our state’s history. This serves as a buffer and allows us to prepare for a potentially uncertain future, boost our credit rating, lower our interest payments, and operate our State more cheaply and efficiently, while continuing to invest in and grow our priorities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to fine-tune this budget and ensure we deliver for hardworking New Jerseyans.”


“Governor Murphy’s 2024 budget is yet another failed opportunity to provide meaningful and lasting relief to the highest taxed people in the country. Let’s be clear, Governor Murphy’s gimmicks and short-term bandaids are not tax relief, they are talking points. And unfortunately, that’s all Governor Murphy offered today, empty talking points. Once again, his budget does nothing to fix our worst in the nation business climate or permanently address our growing property tax crisis – both of which drive families and good paying jobs out of our state each and every day.

“This is a problem of will, not resources. Thanks to the federal government, Governor Murphy is sitting on billions in surplus. Many, myself and legislative Republicans included, have laid out substantive proposals to use that funding to immediately lower taxes, protect our communities, educate our students hurt by pandemic learning loss, and invest in our future. Unfortunately, Governor Murphy chose to ignore those proposals in favor of a budget that continues his reckless spending – the budget is up more than $18 billion since he took office!

“Why? Because this Governor is more interested in running for President on the backs of New Jersey taxpayers than he is in truly leaving New Jersey stronger and fairer.”


“Gov. Phil Murphy is increasing spending by billions again, while New Jersey residents cut back in the face of inflation and a possible recession. He treats taxpayers like a cash cow. He is milking us to feed his progressive agenda. Illegal immigrants and gun control activists will certainly benefit from this budget, but the hardworking taxpayers won’t find much in the way of long-term tax cuts they deserve and our schools are unfairly facing funding cuts to pay for increases in Democrat districts.”


“As I have opposed Murphy’s budgets in the past, this year’s budget proposal is loaded with pork and spending geared to liberal special interest groups and for social engineering.

“If this year’s final budget proposal is like the previous Murphy budgets, millions of taxpayers’ money will be spent on Planned Parenthood, illegal immigrants, gun control measures, lawsuits against energy companies, and the forced electrification of our homes, businesses, and cars on the altar of so-called ‘green energy.’

“While we have unnecessary spending increases, Murphy and the legislative Democrat leadership have no plan to fully fund all of our schools in Sussex, Warren, and Morris counties nor provide high speed broadband to our area nor provide money to landowners whose properties were devalued due to extreme environmental measures such as the Highlands.  Their answer to us here is ‘raise your property taxes.’

“Murphy’s spending spree will continue, even in the face of an economic downturn which every financial expert is predicting we are heading into.

“If major cuts and reforms are not made from now until June 30, I will once again oppose the budget.”


“The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) was extremely pleased to hear Governor Murphy commit to no new taxes or fees in the FY2024 state budget address, as well as declare that he will honor his agreement to allow the 2.5 percent Corporate Business Tax (CBT) surcharge to expire. This surcharge, enacted during the Governor’s first year in Office, has been levied on top of the state’s already extremely high CBT tax rate of nine percent. The CCSNJ is thankful for the Governor’s commitment to seeing the surcharge sunset and looks forward to working with the Administration on a possible CBT reduction in the future, which will make the state more competitive and positioned for economic growth.

“However, the CCSNJ remains gravely concerned, as it has been every year since the Governor took Office, about the total spend of the FY2024 state budget. As proposed, a $53.1 billion budget is the largest budget in state history – a 50 percent increase since 2018. The CCSNJ’s fear is that to maintain this level of year-over-year growth in spending, New Jersey will inevitably have to raise taxes on its already overburdened residents and businesses – a fact that was recently supported by a NJ Spotlight report stating that property taxes increased by 2 percent since last year. The CCSNJ strongly encourages the Administration to consider new, reliable, long-term revenue sources in the context of the final FY2024 state budget that can be depended upon in the future to assure the state does not overspend, leaving the businesses and taxpayers unfairly responsible to make up the difference.

“Another worrisome exclusion from the FY2024 state budget address was any mention of small business assistance. Small businesses, especially those in our urban centers, and those that are minority/women-owned, were deeply impacted during the pandemic and continue to struggle to regain their footing. The CCSNJ looks forward to reviewing the details of the budget proposal with hope that some assistance has been allocated to the state’s small Main Street businesses, but was distressed to not hear any mention of it in the Governor’s remarks.

“Lastly, on a positive note, the CCSNJ was elated to learn more details on the new $100 million Boardwalk Fund. This much-needed program will partner with shore towns and counties to ensure that boardwalks get the attention they need to be repaired and rejuvenated. In South Jersey, specifically in municipalities like Atlantic City and the Wildwoods, these funds are extremely welcome to assure local boardwalks are safe and enjoyable tourism destinations.

“As is our practice, the CCSNJ will carefully review the Governor’s budget document, deliver testimony at the public hearings, and looks forward to providing the Administration and state policymakers with our feedback.”


“New Jersey LCV is celebrating some successes in this year’s state budget and are disappointed in other decisions not meeting the needs of low income residents. We are pleased to see Governor Murphy’s doubling down on efforts to create a 21st century sustainable green-jobs economy, and a reduction in the Clean Energy Fund diversions that help low income families weatherize their homes and save on energy bills, but families need more access to these cost-saving programs and we want the raids completely eliminated.  We will continue to advocate with the Legislature to end the Clean Energy Fund raids because the state is on firmer financial footing to finally end the clean energy raids and to establish permanent funding for NJ Transit.  We’re also looking closely at the details of the budget to ensure investment of $700 million for water infrastructure, a fully funded PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) at $9.9 million for open spaces and farmland, and adequate staffing for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to do it’s critically important work.”


“Governor Murphy has once again demonstrated that he has no interest in the long-term fiscal health of our state. Instead, he prioritizes gimmicks and one-time giveaways ahead of the November elections to help save his Party from voters’ growing frustrations with one-party rule in Trenton. New Jerseyans will see through Murphy’s cheap stunts and elect Republicans this November who can right the ship.”


“The Governor and State Legislature took an important step last year in allocating $300 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to water infrastructure. We applaud Governor Murphy for including water infrastructure as a key priority in his budget address this year. 

“New Jersey faces a clean water funding gap of $6 billion over the next five years.  We cannot afford to wait to upgrade our water infrastructure. Today’s address makes clear that Governor Murphy understands that an investment in clean water is a commitment to healthy families, good jobs and a more affordable future for all New Jersey residents.”


“Gov. Murphy has once again demonstrated his commitment to New Jersey’s students, families and public schools with a budget that prioritizes their needs by investing in our state’s future. By fully meeting the state’s annual pension obligation, this budget also shows respect for the educators who have made our schools the best in the nation.

“We know that every dollar invested in education is repaid many times over in increased future productivity and decreased future costs. New Jersey students are better off today and New Jersey will be stronger for years to come because of the investments Gov. Murphy and the Legislature have made in the last five budgets and the increased investment contained in this budget.

“The investment in student mental health is especially important. Students are still recovering from the trauma of three disrupted school years. The effect of that disruption went beyond academic challenges to the social-emotional well-being of everyone in our public schools. Recognizing that, and taking steps to address it, is a critical part of our ongoing COVID recovery efforts.

“This budget also takes some small preliminary steps toward addressing New Jersey’s ongoing educator shortage crisis, with stipends for student teachers and the waiving of teacher certification fees. Those two steps will make teaching more accessible to a wider range of New Jersey students, helping to both deepen and broaden the pool of potential candidates.

“However, much more work remains to be done in this budget cycle to address New Jersey’s devastating educator shortage. This budget must include significant additional funding for both retention programs and recruitment for both educators and educational support professionals. For example, we need to see investment in collaboration between our secondary schools, community colleges and educator preparation programs to build a diverse and representative pipeline from community colleges to our classrooms.  We need investment in school culture and climate programs that work to reduce paperwork and provide educators with the time they need to prepare for their students.

“Beyond the budget, we also need to implement meaningful structural changes to Ch. 9, the state’s teacher certification and induction regulations, which could immediately increase the educator pipeline. We urge Gov. Murphy to revisit the recommendations made by the Task Force on Public School Staff Shortages in New Jersey and implement the solutions proposed by the experts and practitioners who made up that group. Without those reforms, additional school funding will not be enough to protect our students.   “We look forward to working with the Murphy administration and the Legislature in the coming months to implement these and many more of the substantive recommendations of the educator shortage task force. We recognize that many, many improvements are needed to make public education a viable, sustainable career in the future, and we will continue to advocate for those improvements so that our students continue to have the teachers and other essential staff they need to learn, to thrive and to keep our schools the best in the nation.”


“While we applaud Governor Murphy for keeping NJ Transit fares and service stable in FY 2024 for the sixth year in a row, the reality is that New Jersey Transit, like transit agencies across the country, is still racing towards a fiscal cliff. NJ transit has an expected $842 million deficit in its budget by FY2026, potentially more if ridership doesn’t continue to rebound. New Jersey needs to lead by example to address an operating deficit that will have devastating impacts for riders. We’re disappointed to see that Governor Murphy continues the practice of raiding NJ Transit’s capital budget to cover the cost of operations. This practice threatens both the sustainability of transit service as well as the success of NJ Transit’s capital plan which includes electrifying NJ Transit’s bus fleet.

“NJ Transit carries over 270 million passengers a year, serving as a lifeline for many New Jersey residents. Yet this essential service is being compromised by a lack of investment. 44% of NJ Transit passengers do not own a car, 58% have household incomes below $35,000, and 80% ride the bus five or more times a week. Mobility is the greatest determinant of quality of life: access to transportation means access to jobs, access to education, access to healthcare, access to family and friends, and access to life. An effective transportation network is one that offers the greatest mobility to its users.. Transit is not an optional service, it is a necessary utility that New Jersey must invest in like any other essential service.

“Governor Murphy has established himself as a leader on climate. With a lion’s share of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector, it has never been more important for the state to fully invest in bus and rail service and infrastructure.”


“As our economy faces many challenges, Governor Murphy’s vision continues to reflect our shared values that have elevated working families throughout his governorship,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “We commend the Governor’s budget message for prioritizing the state’s fiscal health, investing in the middle class, upgrading our infrastructure, and taking care of our veterans.”“We thank Governor Murphy for his commitment to another full pension payment, property tax relief, full funding of the school funding formula, increasing universal preschool education and making child care more affordable, which would lift up working families struggling with inflation and the cost of child-care. Furthermore, Governor Murphy’s strong financial stewardship, which includes paying down debt and a healthy budget surplus, will help our middle class stay afloat in the event a recession does occur.  “Our labor federation also welcomes Governor Murphy’s investments in replacing New Jersey’s antiquated water infrastructure and strengthening NJ Transit. Funding these programs creates and protects jobs that our members rely on, and improves the health and quality of life for all New Jerseyans. Additionally, we salute the Governor’s plan to strengthen the social safety net many of our veterans rely on by expanding Veterans Services Offices throughout New Jersey.“Lastly, we greatly appreciate the Governor’s acknowledgement of the union labor that our members in the building trades put into revitalizing the statehouse, and look forward to the successful completion of that multi-year project in the near future.“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO looks forward to working with Governor Murphy and the Legislature on the FY 2024 budget.”


We applaud Governor Murphy for including a number of AARP New Jersey’s priorities in his Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal that will help older adults remain in their homes and communities, like increasing property tax relief, making a full pension payment and addressing the high cost of prescription drugs, but more must be done for our 1 million family caregivers.

“We urge the NJ Legislature to pass the Caregiver’s Assistance Act (A1802/S2021) which makes a necessary investment in family caregivers, who are the lynchpin to ensuring older adults can age at home – where they want to be

“We commend Governor Murphy for proposing important initiatives that will help older adults remain in the homes and communities they love. However, family caregivers who provide unpaid care for their older loved ones tell us that they need more financial relief; this is financial relief family caregivers have earned.

“Every day, thousands of people in New Jersey care for their spouses, aging parents, or other loved ones – helping them live at home instead of costly nursing homes. This saves New Jersey – and taxpayers – money since nursing home care is mostly paid for by the state, through Medicaid; yet, family caregivers pay out of their own pockets.

“The average family caregiver spends 26% of their income on caregiving activities, and often, they are juggling or sacrificing their job or tapping into their savings to make it work. We need our state legislators to support family caregivers by making family caregiving more affordable. The Caregiver’s Assistance Act would provide a modest, fully refundable, income tax credit of up to $675.

“New Jersey’s sky-high property taxes are another critical factor when it comes to keeping New Jerseyans in their homes, particularly for older residents and those with disabilities living on low-, moderate- and fixed-incomes. We commend Governor Murphy’s proposal to expand the income eligibility requirements for New Jersey’s Senior Freeze program. However, we urge the Governor and NJ Legislature to change the Senior Freeze from a reimbursement to a credit, which 80% of New Jersey voters 50 and older support. This will allow participants to save money upfront instead of receiving money back in the form of a refund. We are also encouraged to hear the Governor’s commitment to fully funding ANCHOR for its second year, which will help ease the property tax burden for homeowners and renters.

“Too many people are having to choose between paying rent, buying food or affording their medications. AARP New Jersey is looking forward to working with the Governor and NJ Legislature to address the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. We are pleased the Governor’s proposal increases the eligibility for the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold prescription drug assistance programs.

“Lastly, financial security in retirement is crucial to helping people remain in their homes and communities and is a core component of our mission to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, including for generations to come.

“AARP applauds the Governor’s proposal to make a full pension payment for the third year in a row. This payment will significantly strengthen the health of these systems, which support hundreds of thousands of New Jersey retirees and their families, as well as save all taxpayers money by reducing the state’s unfunded liability.

“On behalf of AARP New Jersey’s more than 1 million Garden State members and all older New Jerseyans, we look forward to working with the Governor and the NJ Legislature in the coming months to finalize a budget that includes financial relief for family caregivers and other important priorities to ensure health and financial security for all.”


“The governor’s budget proposal wisely invests in the building blocks of a strong economy, from public schools to public health, but these investments rest on a shaky foundation. By giving a massive tax cut to the most profitable corporations in the world, there’s no promise that the state will be able to fund these public needs in the future.“The long-term success of New Jersey requires reliable and sustainable sources of revenue to keep state government running and to fund the vital public services and infrastructure we all rely on. By eliminating the Corporate Business Tax surcharge, lawmakers will blow an even bigger hole in the state budget than previously thought. Buried in the governor’s budget proposal is a new estimate for how much this corporate tax cut will cost the state, coming in at a whopping $1 billion next year.“We should know by now that trickle-down tax cuts do not work. We learned this lesson the hard way during the Christie administration, where big tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected led to the hollowing out of public services and exacerbated income and wealth inequality.“State leaders can’t have it both ways. A promise to deliver the supports and services our communities need requires a smart tax code that not only responds to current economic conditions but works in our collective favor. The “next New Jersey” doesn’t have a chance without tackling our rigged tax code head-on. That’s the hard work we expect from elected officials, and it only pays off if they prioritize the needs of the many over those of a chosen few.


“Although not specifically addressed today, HPAE will continue to advocate for funding to support New Jersey’s public healthcare facilities including University Hospital in Newark. We urge Gov. Murphy and members of the New Jersey legislature to increase financial support to invest in New Jersey’s only public hospital, a healthcare institution which has provided affordable healthcare to residents across the region. Additionally, HPAE and the 14,000 nurses and healthcare workers represented by the union are calling on lawmakers to invest resources to help solve the current staffing crisis that is putting the state’s healthcare system in jeopardy.”


“The Governor’s budget address made it clear that New Jersey is a collection of great places, and it is his intent to invest in these places even more. To this end, New Jersey needs a budget that prioritizes redevelopment in our downtowns, vibrant foot traffic along our Main Streets, and reliable public transit that keeps us connected to our local communities, as well as our major cities.
“New Jersey Future was happy to hear about a number of new initiatives and pronouncements, as well as staying the course on some important policy directions. The new urban investment fund is one notable new initiative that recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to urban redevelopment and revitalization, including the need for funding open spaces, public art, and active transportation infrastructure. It will be important to make this fund large enough and flexible enough to have a real difference, including plugging gaps in transformational housing and economic development projects. Our urban areas are a strength of our state, and it’s time to raise the bar of investment.
“In the categories of continuity, it was important to hear that the Governor is proposing no NJ Transit fare hikes, an expansion of the senior property tax freeze, and the continuation of fee-free access to our state parks. We hope the legislature not only continues these efforts, but looks to expand them to include fare-free NJ Transit zones, and an electric bicycle subsidy program. Affordability will not only help our current residents, but make New Jersey vastly more competitive.
“Being based in Trenton, we have watched the State House renovation progress and were excited to hear that this historic effort is almost done. However, our definition of “complete” is more broad. We would like to see the Governor and Legislature appropriate $15 million in this budget to finish the renovation by building the Capital Park behind the State House that has been on the books for over a decade.
“The Governor’s vision requires the state to address our stressed and aged infrastructure, and prepare to adapt to the coming threats of climate change. As much as we all want to fast forward to the “next” New Jersey, we still have legacy issues from our past to resolve in order to reach an inclusive, fair, and equitable future. It was encouraging to hear water infrastructure mentioned, but now we need to see actual dollars dedicated to this work. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature through the budget process to ensure the vision of a new New Jersey has the funding in place to build the proper foundation and make change happen.”
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