NJ state budget boosts pension payment, offers tax rebates

New Jersey

The assembly conducts business at the state house in Trenton, N.J., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The prospects of a vote on legislation to eliminate most religious exemptions for vaccines for schoolchildren in New Jersey looked uncertain Monday, according to the bill’s sponsor, as opponents crowded the Statehouse grounds with flags, bullhorns and banners. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey will make its first full public pension payment in a quarter century, mail tax rebate checks to 760,000 residents and boost overall state spending by 15% over last year under the fiscal 2022 budget getting a vote Thursday in the Legislature.

The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate have set votes on the $46.4 billion spending plan less than a week before a constitutional deadline to enact a balanced budget.

Lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy benefited from a $10 billion windfall, the result of better-than-hoped-for tax collections as residents’ bank accounts swelled because of COVID-19 stimulus checks.

“This budget represents an important statement to all New Jersey residents: we are primed and ready to rebound from the pandemic,” said State Senate Speaker Stephen Sweeney. “This spending plan makes important new investments that bring tax relief, increase affordability, reduce debt, and enhance the health and safety of residents. It is our state’s blueprint to emerge from the ravages of COVID-19 stronger than ever.”

The budget now goes to Murphy’s desk for signature.

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