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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Bramnick unlikely to ease up on Murphy ahead of surgery

Politics separate from procedure, minority leader says

By Nikita Biryukov, February 24 2020 5:13 pm

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said he doesn’t expect to ease up political pressure on Gov. Phil Murphy ahead of the governor’s surgery to remove a likely-cancerous tumor on his kidney.

“If he gives a speech tomorrow about taxes, I’m going to talk about his taxes, but I’ve done that all the time, and I’ll continue to do that,” he said. “It does not have anything to do with the fact that he has a medical procedure, and I hope everything goes well.”

Bramnick, who said he likes Murphy personally, hit the governor in advance of his budget address Tuesday, taking aim at tax increases Murphy is expected to pitch.

“That’s a deep concern. When you see his groups — the people who support him, the people who are with him 100% — when they suggest to him ‘hey listen, you want to raise taxes across the board,’ I’m concerned that’s what he’ll do,” Bramnick said.

Bramnick is mulling a possible bid for the 2021 Republican gubernatorial nomination.

For the Many, a coalition of progressive groups, many of which make up Murphy’s base, last week called for $3 billion in tax increases.

Their pitch included new tax brackets for those making more than $250,000 per year, a policy that would impose more additional taxes than Murphy has pitched during previous budget negotiations.

Bramnick declined to say whether he believed Murphy would bite on the group’s plan entirely, but he was certain Murphy would pitch some form of tax increase.

“Whether it’s 3 billion, 2 billion or 1 billion, he’s going to be on the same page as these groups that have asked for increases in most areas of taxes in the state of New Jersey,” Bramnick said.

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