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Senate President Steve Sweeney. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Sweeney doesn’t expect budget veto

Senate president predicts governor will support legislators’ budget

By Nikita Biryukov, June 17 2019 2:22 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney said he doesn’t expect Gov. Phil Murphy to veto the budget the legislature is planning to advance through committees Monday.

“I don’t know why the governor wouldn’t sign a bill. It’s a Democrat budget. It’s done by Democrats, it addresses a lot of the priorities the governor has,” Sweeney said during a press scrum. “In fact, it increases funding in some of the areas that the governor identified. So, all in all, our budget’s not that far off from the budget that he presented, and that’s how it works. The administration presents a budget, and the legislature works to craft a budget to put on his desk.”

The budget lawmakers are pushing and the budget Murphy laid out in his budget address in March differ in one major way.

The former doesn’t include a tax on the state’s millionaires.

Murphy has long sought a tax on the state’s high earners, and the watered-down version he won in last year’s budget negotiations hasn’t done much to prevent him from seeking the measure for the second year in a row.

Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have said they have no intentions of including a millionaire’s tax in the budget or even of posting one for a vote.

Though he repeatedly made them last year, Murphy has largely eschewed veto threats during this year’s budget negotiations.

The senate president said it was possible lawmakers would move to override a line-item veto if it cut funding for legislative priorities during an earlier press gaggle Monday, though he later said he doesn’t expect it to come to that.

“I’m not anticipating a veto — I was asked a question — not even a little bit,” Sweeney said. “I would expect the governor to support the budget once you look at the budget.”

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