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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Bramnick hasn’t spoken with caucus about EDA override

Minority leader won’t speculate on budget override

By Nikita Biryukov, June 27 2019 1:11 pm

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said he has not spoken with his caucus about a possible override Gov. Phil Murphy’s expected veto of a bill that would extend troubled tax incentive programs administered by the Economic Development Authority.

“I have not spoken to caucus about that, but I believe we should continue with the EDA at this point until something new is in place because it sends a bad message to business when you’re just stopping incentive programs,” Bramnick said. “Incentive programs can be carefully monitored and run well, so my feeling is you want to have your incentive programs continue until you put something in its place.”

Last week, both chambers of the legislature passed the bill, which would extend the programs by seven months, with supermajorities.

The bill passed 66-5 in the Assembly and 28-2 in the Senate.

Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly vowed to veto the extension if it was not coupled with reforms to the incentive programs, though he hasn’t provided any details on when such a veto might come.

He has 45 days from last Thursday to take action on the bill. If he does nothing by the end of that period, the bill becomes law.

Senate President Steve Sweeney wouldn’t say last week whether lawmakers would seek to override Murphy’s veto.

The jockeying over the EDA incentives isn’t the only issue between the state’s top Democrats.

The conflict over incentives comes in the midst of already-tense budget negotiations.

In the Senate, seven Republican members backed the budget, giving Sweeney a veto-proof 31-6 vote margin.

The budget passed the Assembly 53-24 in the Assembly. One Democrat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, was not present at the day’s voting session.

Not Republicans backed the bill, and Bramnick declined to speculate on whether not they would.

“Hypotheticals, I learned a long time ago, big mistake,” Bramnick said.

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