Gov. Phil Murphy said he will sign a $38.7 billion budget by July 1 and avoid a government shutdown.
“The final details of the budget, which we are still parsing through… the final details on the budget that I … will sign are still be determined, but I will meet our constitutional deadline,” Murphy said at a June 27 news conference in Secaucus.
Murphy will announce those details on June 30 at 2 p.m., according to a person close to budget discussions. Politico first reported on plans for that event.
“Going into our July 4 holiday, I cannot, and I will not, subject our residents to the inconveniences they would suffer under a government shutdown,” Murphy continued.
The budget does not include the millionaire’s tax proposal to raise the income tax from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent for every dollar earned above $1 million. Lawmakers also cut out $28 million from his community college tuition-free program, as well as fees on opioid manufacturers, gun and ammunition permits, and certain corporations with employees that are enrolled in Medicaid.
“We got an overwhelming amount of our priorities funded,” Murphy said. “Between now and Sunday, there will not be” a millionaire’s tax, Murphy said, “but again stay tuned for Monday.”
The governor repeatedly hinted that he would seek a millionaire’s tax again next year, something Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, said was still a non-starter.
Last week Murphy said he might use his constitutional authority to line-item veto specific Legislative spending priorities if lawmakers did not agree to the millionaire’s tax.
Murphy suggested he would cut out “hundreds of millions of dollars in pork spending” from the budget that the state Legislature sent him – mainly state funds being allocated to local projects such as a senior center in East Brunswick, Cooper Hospital in Camden and the Turtleback Zoo in Essex County.
He declined on Thursday to specify what he would line-item veto from the budget. The governor did say he would not eliminate a $50 million increase in funding for New Jersey Transit that lawmakers included in their budget.
Sweeney downplayed the veto threats. “We’ve got to see what he’s going to do first, the governor was saying he’s going to do a whole lot of things,” Sweeney told reporters after the June 27 Senate session.
“I assume he’ll do some, but it’s a good budget,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney said he was pleased that Murphy had pledged not to cut the additional funds for NJ Transit. He added that there was little in the budget that should be excised.
“Things that we actually instilled in the budget are actually very good. Things like extraordinary special education. I certainly hope he’s not going to line-item veto that. That’s not pork,” Sweeney said.
This article was updated on June 27 at 5:30 pm ET to include comments from Senate President Stephen Sweeney.