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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Murphy budget ‘much better than last time,’ Weinberg says

Too early to tell how millionaires tax plays out, she says

By Nikita Biryukov, March 05 2019 1:05 pm

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg was optimistic about Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget ahead of the governor’s budget address Tuesday early afternoon.

“From the briefing, I think we have positive feelings about this being much better than last time,” Weinberg said. “I think the health savings is a great step forward, and I think CWA should be congratulated for going along with it. So, that’s my initial reaction.”

Murphy’s budget includes just under $897 million in projected savings related to employee benefits, with the bulk coming from savings on health benefits.

Despite Weinberg’s optimism, Murphy’s budget may rub Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin the wrong way.

The governor is set to unveil a new millionaires tax proposal. The measure would create a new tax bracket for those making between $1 million and $5 million.

Sweeney and Coughlin opposed the millionaires tax Murphy sought during last year’s budget negotiations, but a deal reached a day before the government was due to shutdown saw the state implement a tax on those making more than $5 million.

The two legislative leaders have also said more than once that they would oppose new taxes in the upcoming year’s budget.

But, Weinberg said, that doesn’t necessarily mean the governor’s budget is dead on arrival. After all, there’s a lot of time left for negotiations.

“I think there’s a lot of discussion between now and June 30th,” Weinberg said.

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