NJ budget increased to record $15 billion under Phil Murphy

Running to beat Thursday’s deadline for approving a new state budget, Democratic lawmakers hastily presented a massive $50.6 billion spending plan late Monday and rushed it into budget committees.

The full legislature is expected to vote on the plan on Wednesday, and Murphy will sign it off before the June 30 midnight deadline.

Flooded with federal COVID relief money and surprisingly robust tax collections, the budget increases spending by 9% from last year.

The cornerstone of the budget is a $2 billion property tax relief package that will give most homeowners a $1,500 credit and renters $450.

Since Murphy took office, state spending has skyrocketed by record amounts.

Chris Christie’s final budget for fiscal year 2018 was $35.5 billion. Throughout his eight years as governor, Christie generally maintained annual raises of around 3%. During this period, expenditures increased by $5.5 billion.

Under Murphy, spending grew almost three times as much, and he still has three years as state chief executive.

The latest budget is $15 billion more than Murphy’s first spending plan. This represents a 42.5% increase in just five years.

After the budget bill was introduced on Monday, Senate Republican Budget Director Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) said it was “nonsense that Democrats are voting today for a $50 billion budget. dollars that literally no one has seen”. O’Scanlon and fellow parliamentarians called it a “shocking lack of transparency”.

While Democrats have held multiple budget hearings, there will be no public input on the final spending plan for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

Budget negotiations took place last weekend between Murphy, Senate Speaker Nick Scutari (D-Union) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge). The talks took place behind closed doors and out of sight.

The final details were hammered out on Monday, just hours before the budget bill was tabled.

Eric Scott is the senior policy director and anchor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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