Home>Governor>Sweeney strikes friendly tone with Murphy, but says no tax increases

Gov. Phil Murphy, center, with Senate President Steve Sweeney, right, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin before Murphy delivered his annual budget address before a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature on March 5, 2019.

Sweeney strikes friendly tone with Murphy, but says no tax increases

Murphy has breakfast with Sweeney, Coughlin this morning in advance of budget address

By David Wildstein, March 05 2019 4:37 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney won’t support Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed millionaire’s tax – a major sticking point in last year’s budget battle between the governor and the legislature.

“This is a positive budget plan that takes meaningful steps in the right direction, but I remain opposed to the proposed tax increase,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney praised Murphy’s willingness to work with the legislature.

The post-budget comments of the Senate Democratic leader begins at a much better place than one year ago, at the start of a budget process that nearly shut down state government.

Murphy, Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin had breakfast this morning at Cafe 72 in Ewing, a demonstration that the governor and legislative leaders are communicating.

“The spending plan embraces many of the initiatives and priorities of the legislative Democrats and can help build on the progress we have made,” said Sweeney, noting that Murphy’s plan included some cost-saving initiatives identified by the Senate.

“This shows that fiscal reforms and budget savings are achievable,” Sweeney said. “We have to continue to make the reforms that will allow for investments that address the needs of the people, that make New Jersey a more affordable place to live and that ensure that government operates efficiently and effectively.”

Sweeney said that the legislature will now give the Murphy budget a “thorough review so that we can put a spending plan in place that makes the investments that will expand opportunities for everyone and move the state forward.”

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