NJ’s budget proposal: Taxes, schools, pension

New Jersey
Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a news conference in Newark on Dec. 15, 2020.

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s $44.8 billion budget proposal, unveiled last week, is a boon for retired public sector retirees, thousands of middle class residents and schools across the state.

Though, the spending plan must first go through the Democrat-led Legislature before it becomes law, the governor’s proposal by and large sets the boundaries for discussion.

At nearly 9% bigger than the previous year, it represents a doubling down on Murphy’s commitment to use taxpayer dollars to fuel the state’s economy, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Murphy’s proposal includes no new taxes or fees and relatively few spending cuts, mostly in the form of savings from what his administration says are underused programs.

He unveiled the spending plan during a remote speech because of the coronavirus pandemic, instead of with the usual pomp and ceremony during a joint legislative session in the General Assembly.

Under the proposed budget, New Jersey will make its first full public pension payment for the first time in a quarter century.

The state will also offer 760,000 families a $500 tax rebate.

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