Home>Highlight>Sumter, McKnight decline to say if they’d back budget without millionaire’s tax

Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-Paterson)

Sumter, McKnight decline to say if they’d back budget without millionaire’s tax

Their stances may solidify in coming days

By Nikita Biryukov, June 10 2019 10:37 am

Editor’s Note: This article’s headline originally said Sumter and McKnight were not ready to back a budget that did not include a millionaire’s tax.

Assemblywomen Shavonda Sumter and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight weren’t ready to support a budget that did not include a millionaire’s tax Monday morning.

“I don’t have a budget in front of me as of yet. I’m actually going to have a meeting to have that conversation,” Sumter, the Assembly Majority Conference Leader, said. “I don’t have a budget at all, literally. All I have is the governor’s budget address. I don’t serve on the budget committee, so I need a budget to make an informed decision, which I always do”

“Same,” McKnight said.

The two assemblywomen are part of an increasingly small group giving solid backing to Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal for a millionaire’s tax.

Over the past week, Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake Assemblyman John McKeon, Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly have moderated their support for the measure.

They now say they will vote to back a budget that does not include a millionaire’s tax, which Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have long said they oppose.

It’s possible that the Assemblywomen’s stances on the millionaire’s tax solidifies in the next few days as Coughlin works to reign in the last few members of his caucus backing Murphy’s proposal.

At the moment, the speaker has enough Democratic votes in his chamber to pass a budget.

The same is true for the Senate, where only four members have fully backed millionaire’s tax. State Sen. Nellie Pou said she would vote of the measure if it was posted, but it’s not clear whether she’d back a budget that did not include a tax on high earners.

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