Trenton – Elected officials and advocates from across New Jersey lauded Governor Phil Murphy’s fiscal year 2019 budget, delivered today. The Governor’s proposed budget puts New Jersey on the path to a stronger and fairer future through investments in education, transit, infrastructure, environmental initiatives, and working families. The budget also prioritizes fairness for all by significantly increasing public employee pension contributions, raising the property tax deduction cap under the state’s income tax, eliminating corporate tax loopholes, and creating a millionaire’s tax to ensure everyone pays their fair share.
See below for reactions to Governor Murphy’s budget:
“We need a budget that places civil rights, civil liberties, economic justice, and racial justice at the fore, and Governor Murphy’s budget reflects a commitment to those fundamental values,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha. “We’re optimistic that this state budget could stand as a solid investment in advancing the rights, liberties, and quality of life of all New Jerseyans.”
“The path set forth in the Governor’s budget address demonstrates that his administration is ready to make good on the promise to get New Jersey’s economy moving again. Through strategic investment in good jobs, education, career training, health care, and committing to fully fund the state pension system, we finally have a concrete plan that puts working families first,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech.
“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,” said Ray Greaves, ATU.
“I welcome the governor’s proposals on transportation spending. We need a thorough discussion of New Jersey’s transportation future if we’re to ensure a strong economy going forward. I am particularly interested in the plans to increase help for NJ Transit. We all know we need a reliable mass transit system if New Jersey is going to thrive. I look forward to a thoughtful review of the governor’s plans, both as transportation chairman and as a member of the budget committee,” said Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (District 14).
“We thank Governor Murphy for stressing the importance of fixing the critical issue of out-of-network and surprise medical billing in our state. This has gone unresolved for far too long and we appreciate the governor highlighting the problem and calling for action. Out-of-network and surprise billing continue to have an adverse impact on New Jerseyans. New Jersey Policy Perspective estimates that surprise billing is a $1 billion problem that drives up premium costs for consumers. Failure to act, and act quickly, leaves open the possibility that one more person will fall victim to this practice. Governor Murphy’s comments – along with the commitment already seen by Speaker Coughlin, Senator Vitale, Senate Majority Leader Weinberg, Assemblyman Schaer, and Assemblywoman Lampitt – offer great promise for finally fixing this long-standing problem and saving consumers countless dollars.” — Better Choices, Better Care NJ.
“In his first budget address, Gov. Phil Murphy signaled a strong departure from the trickle down fiscal policies that almost bankrupted the state. The fiscal year 2019 budget will make bold investments in our state’s future and ensure that working families are prioritized. After years of advocating for a progressive budget, we are thrilled to see the Governor put forth the better choices we have been pushing for to get New Jersey back on track,” said Louis Di Paolo, Better Choices for New Jersey.
“Our association is proud of our Governor who is taking charge and doing what is right for New Jerseyans” said Hugh O’Beirne, President of the NJCIA. “The proposed budget proves that Governor Murphy has the commitment and courage to deliver on his campaign promises on medical expansion and the development of a well regulated adult-use cannabis industry.”
“The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters applauds Governor Phil Murphy on his 2019 Budget address. We believe that the Governor’s budget will help to bring about a stronger and fairer New Jersey for millions of working people in the State. Since he announced his candidacy, Governor Murphy has spoken about how the door to the middle class was opened through the labor movement and the hard work and sweat of millions of working men and women. In today’s budget address, he spoke about his commitment to rebuilding the State of New Jersey’s infrastructure through the use of Union labor. We are committed to working hand and hand with the Governor to ensure New Jerseyans can secure good paying construction jobs. We are encouraged about Governor Murphy’s agenda for the year ahead and believe it will stimulate our economy, build a stronger middle class and build a stronger New Jersey,” said John Ballantyne, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.
“Compliments to Governor Murphy by opening doors and putting forth a straight comprehensive budget addressing our state’s needs now. Certainly there will be discussions and room to adjust but New Jersey is on a positive path from today forward,” said Mayor Chuck Chiarello Buena Vista Township, and President of New Jersey Conference of Mayors.
“He sounded very uplifting. He’s really the happy warrior. He’s going to fight for what he believes in,” said Senator Ralph Caputo (District 28).
“Today Governor Murphy outlined a bold vision for New Jersey with a responsible budget that fulfills our obligations, makes investments in the things we value, and makes our tax system more fair. Governor Murphy is doing the right thing by closing corporate loopholes and calling on the wealthiest New Jerseyans – who are currently making out like bandits from the Trump Tax Cut – to contribute back their fair share. New Jersey squandered eight years and billions of dollars in Christie’s failed experiment in trickle-down economics. And what did we get in return? More people living in poverty, downgraded bond ratings, a lagging economy, and deep cuts to the public programs we all rely on. It’s well past time to change direction and Governor Murphy today offered us an exciting path forward,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action.
“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,” said Hetty Rosenstein, CWA NJ State Director.
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,” said a statement from the Education Law Center.
“Governor Murphy laid out a plan for the future of New Jersey. As a former teacher of 26 years, I know the importance of funding education. Our schools have been short changed over the past 8 years and we need proper resources to fully fund our school districts and help property taxpayers. This plan is only the first of a four year program to get our State back on track,” said Mayor Francesco A. Caramagna of Elmwood Park.
“I want to focus on the move to raise the cap to 15k as Fanwood is moving forward with creating the charitable fund and applaud his focus on NJT as we are the Raritan Valley line and our residents heavily rely on bus and rail with our ultimate goal of one seat ride for our community – we are a commuter town,” said Mayor Colleen Mahr, Fanwood.
“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 byclosing corporate loopholes and incentive programs, Governor Murphy can deliver a progressive future for New Jersey,” said Lena Smith, Food & Water Watch.
“Too many of NJ families, seniors, and residents living with special needs struggle daily to make ends meet. We commend Gov. Murphy for acknowledging this hardship and the impact it has had on our economy. According to a new national study, there are just 30 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 of the lowest income renter households. We also continue to rank number one in foreclosure. The governor’s proposed budget moves NJ in a new direction by investing in our diverse communities making them healthier, more affordable places to call home. Network members are ready to work with the governor and legislative leaders to build a thriving New Jersey,” said Staci Berger, President and CEO, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.
“We finally have a Governor in New Jersey that doesn’t hesistate to stand with the LGBTQ community,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “At a time when our rights are being chipped away and our visibility is being erased, it’s no surprise the audience broke out in applause during this moment. Thank you Governor Murphy!”
“The epidemic of gun violence is a major public health problem that continues to impact the lives of Garden State families and communities,” said Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director of Giffords. “Governor Murphy recognizes that there is more that New Jersey can do to continue to be a leader in finding and funding life-saving solutions to gun violence. We applaud him for allocating $2 million in his budget to establish the Center on Gun Violence at a New Jersey institution of higher education. New Jersey lawmakers continue to show Congress and the rest of the country what courage looks like when it comes to addressing gun violence in our country.”
“New Jersey LCV was pleased to hear Governor Murphy double down on his environmental commitments in today’s speech, and was particularly excited about his investment in our public transportation, which will help get more cars off the road and lower our greenhouse gas emissions as a part of his vision for a cleaner, healthier state,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
“We applaud Governor Murphy for this groundbreaking step to support immigrant families in the Garden State. As immigration arrests skyrocket in New Jersey – at a rate higher than the national average – our state has made an important move to protect due process rights, ensure family unity and defend our immigrant communities. Currently, only one in three detained immigrants in New Jersey fights their deportation case with legal representation. We thank Governor Murphy for his extraordinary leadership and for his unwavering commitment to defend immigrant families. We look forward to building the universal legal representation for all detained immigrants in New Jersey,” said Sara Cullinane, Director of Make the Road New Jersey.
“Airbnb strongly supports Governor Murphy’s effort to apply short-term rental taxes to our community and thanks President Sweeney, Speaker Coughlin, and Assemblywoman Quijano for their leadership on this issue. Home sharing is bringing economic opportunity to families and businesses in every corner of the Garden State and we are excited to be able to support core state and local services from Jersey City to the Jersey Shore,” said Josh Meltzer, Northeast Head of Public Policy for Airbnb.
“For the first time since 2009, the state budget respects the school funding formula, which has been repeatedly upheld by the state Supreme Court and is a national model for fairness and educational equity. It is critical that our investment in education builds on our successes and ensures that every child in New Jersey, regardless of zip code, has access to the resources necessary to learn and thrive. We also must invest in the people who work in our schools by reducing the onerous burden of skyrocketing health care costs. This budget enables districts to begin treating employees with respect and will help keep talented women and men in positions throughout,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan.
“It is comforting to me that New Jersey has adult leadership again. Gov. Murphy’s budget proposal is a first big step towards cleaning up the mess left from eight years of vindictive incompetence. I like what I heard,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell.
“We are so thankful that Governor Phil Murphy has reaffirmed his commitment to funding family planning services in his first budget address.” – Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ.
“For 10 years – every year, 50,000 of New Jersey’s 3- and 4-year-olds have been promised pre-k. Governor Murphy’s proposed funding for pre-k expansion — $83 million in total — is a major step toward full expansion of New Jersey’s pre-k into hundreds of communities and for the 50,000 children as promised a decade ago. Pre-K Our Way applauds Governor Murphy’s action as another important step towards the full- funding of the 2008 law that calls for expansion of pre-k programs to children across the state.” — Pre-K Our Way.
“Today we heard, in a pre-budget address conference, an outline of Governor Phil Murphy’s budget. When the first item introduced was increased funding for education, followed by investments in essential infrastructure, It was clear that we finally have a leader who will take New Jersey in the right direction. I look forward to working with the Governor and his team on improving the lives of the residents of Prospect Park and the Great State of New Jersey,” said Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah, Prospect Park.
“This is a powerful first step. It took years to get here and you don’t turn something around in one year. It’s a signal the governor understands the importance of mobility,” said Tom Wright, Regional Plan Association executive director. “This is a substantial enough increase. I’d expect them to stave off any fare increase in the short term.”
“Governor Murphy’s budget proposal reflects many of the values that are near and dear to Rutgers. The commitment to maintaining operating aid and fringe support, investing in research and increasing resources for Tuition Aid Grants and our Educational Opportunity Funds, are positive signs about the direction of the new administration. Rutgers looks forward to competing to study gun violence as proposed by the Governor. We are uniquely qualified to conduct this critical research by utilizing the expertise at our centers, institutes and schools. Investigating and understanding the criminal behavior, social impacts, psychological issues and the range of public health aspects of gun violence is important work and we stand ready to take on that mission. We are gratified that Governor Murphy has announced that the state’s minimum wage will be raised to $11 per hour – matching the minimum wage that Rutgers pays its student and permanent workers,” said Peter McDonough, Vice President External Affairs at Rutgers University.
“A new year, a new duly elected Governor, a new vision. We in New Jersey need to come together working towards improving our State. The Governor needs us to put aside partisan politics and together make a better New Jersey,” said Mayor Kennedy O’Brien of Sayreville.
“It was great to hear a Governor actually talk about climate change, renewable energy, banning fracking and environmental justice in a budget address. It’s more important because Gover Murphy’s budget will help move us forward when it comes to dealing with the environment and green jobs.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,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “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 by rejoining RGGI and becoming 100% green energy by 2050. New Jersey used to be a leader in environmental protections. We need to make sure to get this budget moving to implement Governor Murphy’s agenda on the environment and clean jobs.”
“Gov. Murphy continues to put forward a progressive agenda that the people of NJ elected him to. We are especially happy about reiterating call for a $15 minimum wage, universal pre-k, and raising desperately needed revenue from those most able to afford it – millionaires and large corporations,” said Kevin Brown, NJ State Director and Vice President of 32BJ SEIU.
“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,” said Karen Haskin, STAND Central NJ.
“NJ Transit is a major economic engine for our state, and stable investment is critical to our collective success,” said UTCA CEO Bob Briant, Jr. “By addressing the true operating needs of the agency in his proposed budget, Governor Murphy made clear his commitment not only to Transit riders, but to the thousands of businesses that rely on NJ Transit to deliver their workforce safely and on time.”
“The investments in infrastructure and education are essential and Governor Murphy has made each a priority with this State budget. I commend the Governor and his team for acknowledging the direction New Jersey was headed, reversing course, reallocating resources and properly planning to re-build our State. This is the first step to realizing these goals,” said Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark.
“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,” said Fatton, Work Environment Council.
“New Jersey working families are poised to finally take a step forward on education, property tax relief, environmental justice, and a whole host of issues because of Governor Murphy’s bold and responsible budget. A key cornerstone of his plan is the reintroduction of tax fairness, eliminating the unfair giveaways and eliminations that favored the wealthy and crippled the state. Once Murphy’s bold vision is achieved, New Jersey will become more affordable and attractive to families and businesses alike,” said Analilia Mejia, NJ Working Families Alliance.