Lawmakers in both the state Assembly and Senate budget committees late Tuesday approved the Democrat-controlled Legislature's Legislative version of a fiscal 2019 state budget.
The vote was 8-3 in the Senate and 9-3 in the Assembly. Both versions, Assembly Bill 4200 and Senate Bill 2019, are expected to appear on the main floor by Thursday.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has vowed to veto any spending plan lacking a millionaires’ tax and his proposed modest increase to the sales tax. Neither item is included in the Legislature’s plan.
Murphy also said he’s opposed to the corporate business tax contained in the Legislature’s plan, arguing that at 13 percent, it would be the highest in the country and make New Jersey less competitive. He also labeled the concept as a stopgap revenue source, because it would be in place only two years.
But Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, has argued the CBT would bring in $805 million a year, and with the two-year sunset period lawmakers would have time to concoct a more sustainable revenue stream.
On Tuesday, Murphy held a press conference at the New Jersey Transit station in Trenton, arguing that his ambitious $242 million overhaul of the statewide transit agency wouldn’t be possible under the Legislature’s spending plan.
“For us to truly remake NJ Transit, and ensure this progress is more than just another in a long line of Trenton’s broken promises, we can’t have a one-shot infusion once every decade and expect to fund a safe and reliable mass transit system,” Murphy said.
The Governor is scheduled to hold another “budget press conference” on Wednesday with the state’s education commissioner.
The Legislature’s school funding plan, backed by Sweeney and approved earlier today, calls for $64.5 million towards the school budget on top of the $283 million that Murphy requested in March.
The Legislature's plan also included various other items, detailed here, in the full press release.