By NJG Press Releases, March 14 2018 7:34 pm



Advocates join in support of a FY 2019 budget that reinvests in education, infrastructure, transportation, the environment and builds opportunities for NJ families by ensuring all stakeholders pay their fair share.


TRENTON — New Jersey’s leading advocates for working families gathered together for a press conference in response to Gov. Murphy’s  first budget address in Trenton. The Better Choices for New Jersey coalition, which for years has championed fairer and more progressive taxation and investment plans for the state, joined together to urge support and action on the key investments and revenue generating proposals outlined in Governor Phil Murphy’s inaugural budget address.


“After eight years of divestment and austerity budgets conveniently paired with tax giveaways to the wealthiest residents of the state, New Jersey was left in shambles. New Jersey’s experiment with trickle-down economics left us with increasing poverty, unaffordable higher education, the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, and declining economic security for the average family” said Analilia Mejia, executive director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance. “The bottom line is that New Jersey needs a responsible budget where the wealthiest pay their fair share – it is the only way for the state to reinvest in our assets, stimulate the economy, and ensure affordability for working families.”


Advocates said that previous budgets proposals were balanced on the backs of New Jersey’s middle and low-income residents, as tax cuts and giveaways were handed to wealthy individuals and corporations. Advocates praised Phil Murphy’s proposal to fully fund programs that were devastated by cuts from the previous administration, including education, public transportation, and environmental protection, and his plans for promoting corrective measures including millionaire’s tax and combined reporting.


Facebook Live Video of the press conference available here.


Other organizations at the event made the following remarks:


-Hetty Rosenstein, Director, CWA NJ

“Governor Murphy did not disappoint. This Governor was elected projecting a bold and progressive vision for New Jersey that meets the State’s obligations to all workers and to all working families.  Governor Murphy is restoring the funding and support that existed before Chris Christie nearly destroyed our state’s economy by smashing workers and giving away 8 billion in revenue to millionaires. This is a good first budget.”


Ray Greaves, Chairman, New Jersey ATU State Council

“The Amalgamated Transit Union which represents thousands of Transportation Workers across the State is delighted by Governor Murphy’s  announcement that he proposes to increase state funding to NJ Transit by $242 million dollars. Governor Murphy understands that investment in Mass Transit is good for our economy, our environment and for those who depend on safe, reliable and affordable public transit.”

– Marie Blistan, President, NJEA

“Gov. Murphy’s priorities are clear. His budget reinforces the vision of New Jersey that he shared with all of us on the campaign trail. He is prioritizing the needs of working families and funding the initiatives we need to restore our economy. His budget will put more New Jerseyans back to work in well-paying jobs, and keep more of our graduates in New Jersey. It works to ensure the clean air, water, and energy we need to thrive and grow. And he does it all with a profound commitment to labor. Gov. Murphy promised to ‘rebuild this state on the shoulders of our union brothers and sisters’ and we pledge to working with him to restore New Jersey as a place for children and families to thrive.”


– Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective

“Governor Murphy got it right: To really get the state back on track, profitable corporations and top earners in the state must pay their fair share. But given the enormous windfall they have received from the federal tax plan, more must be done to foster fiscal stability and shared prosperity in the Garden State.”


Dan Fatton, Director, Work Environment Council

“The governor’s first budget is an encouraging first step towards a holistic approach to our priorities. Gov. Phil Murphy has shown that addressing the climate crisis, through green jobs and clean energy are just as transformative and necessary as investing in education and infrastructure. This is a budget that recognizes the importance of both a strong economy and health environment.”


David Sciarra, Executive Director, Education Law Center

After eight years marked by a lack of investment in, and little support for, our public schools, Governor Murphy’s first state budget represents a significant turnaround. We applaud the Governor’s commitment to full formula funding, including preschool expansion, and we look forward to the time when all NJ public school children will receive the resources they need to succeed in school and in life.


– Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club

“This budget is critical to move New Jersey forward when it comes to climate change, environmental justice, and clean energy. There will be funding to create green jobs, fix NJ Transit, implement energy efficiency programs and reduce pollution while making us more resilient. There will be a strong commitment to environmental justice to provide benefits and economic opportunities to communities most affected by climate change and pollution. Unlike Christie, who targeted the environment to balance the budget, we now have a budget that will help to ensure our air is clean, water is pure, toxic sites are cleaned, and we tackle climate change. This is a progressive budget that closes corporate tax loopholes and makes millionaires pay their fair share. We’ll see more money for clean energy programs and the environment including money from the Clean Energy Fund and rejoining RGGI. New Jersey used to be a leader in environmental protections. This budget will get us on the right track and finally move us into the 21st century.”


– Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director, Anti Poverty Network

“Our network of organizations and individuals is encouraged by Governor Murphy’s budget proposal which increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to 40% of the federal level, incrementally raises the minimum wage to a more livable wage, and calls for other actions that could set our state on the right path to being fair for low-income residents in our high-cost state.”


– Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ

“NJ needs strong solutions to the challenges we face and this budget is a first step towards getting our economy back on track,” said . “We agree with the governor – when people have more money in their pockets, they spend more on activities that spur our economy. We look forward to working with the governor and legislative leaders to build a thriving NJ and make our state an affordable place we can all call home.”


– Marcia Marley, Director, BlueWaveNJ

BlueWaveNJ congratulates Governor Murphy for his courageous budget presentation that puts the interests of the people of New Jersey first. Yesterday the Governor signaled a new direction to create a stronger and fairer economy.  After eight years of Christie’s failed policies that bankrupted our state and increased poverty levels, we finally have a Governor that is investing in desperately needed infrastructure and free education from pre-k to community college.  He is committed to creating a fairer tax system by closing loopholes, proposing a millionaire’s tax and stopping billions of giveaways to corporations that do not create jobs. BlueWaveNJ applauds his commitment to clean energy and environmental justice, increasing the minimum wage and passing paid sick leave for the 1.2 million that are currently not covered!   We commend the Governor’s support for a reduction in magazine ammunition capacity, an extension of background checks for private gun sales and the establishment of a new Gun Violence Research Center.



Lena Smith, Senior New Jersey Organizer & Policy Advocate, Food & Water Watch

“Governor Murphy has made it clear that he seeks to take the state in a progressive direction after eight years of Chris Christie. A clean water, clean energy agenda requires substantial investments from Trenton to build healthy communities throughout the state. That means investing in infrastructure so that water remains clean, safe, and affordable, and that these systems remain under public control. We must also ensure that there is robust funding for renewable energy to match Governor Murphy’s goal of getting New Jersey to 100% clean energy. By using tax revenues generated by making the wealthy pay their fair share, and by closing corporate loopholes and incentive programs, Governor Murphy can deliver a progressive future for New Jersey.”


– Jeff Feldman, National Association of Social Workers – New Jersey

“NASW-NJ is pleased the Governor has proposed a responsible, moral budget that recognizes the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our state.”


Karen Haskin, President, STAND Central NJ

“STAND Central NJ expresses its support for the principles in Governor Murphy’s budget proposal. This bold vision has the potential to address inequalities and ensure a fairer budget for all New Jersey residents.”


– Susan Druckenbrod ,South Jersey Women for Progressive Change

South Jersey Women for Progressive Change supports the revenue raisers proposed in Governor Murphy’s progressive budget. We are pleased to see funding for women’s health and family planning services as well as an increase in the funding for public schools and dedication to fully funding education. Additionally, we find his Gun Violence Research Center to be innovative, creative and necessary.

CONTACT: Anne Songcayauon, asongcayauon@workingfamilies.org, (201) 233-7735



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