Murphy begins campaign for proposed 2020 budget

David Madden
March 06, 2019 - 2:56 pm
 Gov. Phil Murphy

Amy Newman/NorthJersey.com via USA Today Network

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WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Fresh off presenting his proposed $38.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy hit the road hoping to sell it to the people of the state.

The governor made a stop at a Bergen County New Jersey Transit maintenance facility to highlight the commitments to mass transit.

The proposal contains more than $400 million for NJ Transit, $25 million of which is actually new money, with another $75 million added that was diverted from other transportation programs. That extra money is meant to continue the agency’s recovery from years of underfunding that prompted fare hikes and maintenance and staffing cuts.

RELATED: NJ Gov. Murphy presents spending plan to lawmakers​

“Last year, commuters didn’t shoulder a fare hike,” Murphy said, “and if this proposed investment is passed by the legislature, they won’t see one this year either.”

But Murphy has brought back the proposed millionaires tax, insisting it needs to be put on everyone making $1 million a year instead of the current $5 million threshold.

“We’re talking about 19,000 people who at the federal level have gotten a very good shake,” Murphy added. “They got a good shake during the prior administration in New Jersey. It’s not a big number but it’s a huge game-changer in our ability to invest in the middle class.”

READ: New poll on Phil Murphy after a year as New Jersey governor​

That’s a non-starter in the legislature, particularly the assembly, where all 80 members are up for re-election in the fall.

Last June, the state came within hours of a budgetary shutdown over the millionaires tax, and there’s already quiet rumblings in Trenton about the possibility of a repeat performance. Murphy insists there’s no appetite for that right now.