Gov. Phil Murphy touts ‘pro-growth progressivism’ at SJ Chamber event

Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey breakfast meeting at the Westin Mount Laurel hotel, the Democratic governor — who entered politics after a successful career as an executive with Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs — said that economic success and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive and can drive one another.



Gov. Phil Murphy took his message of “pro-growth progressivism” directly to South Jersey business leaders Wednesday, asserting that his proposals to tax millionaires at a higher rate and revamp the state’s business incentives will help lift the entire state’s economy.

Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey breakfast meeting at the Westin Mount Laurel hotel, the Democratic governor — who entered politics after a successful career as an executive with Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs — said that economic success and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive and can drive one another.

“It’s not enough to make our economy work if the steps we take means it only works for a few. We need an economy that works for everyone across the state,” Murphy said. “It won’t be enough to grow the pie, if everyone doesn’t get a fair piece of the pie.”

He touted the $38.6 billion state budget proposal he unveiled earlier this month, noting that it was built based on $1.1 billion in savings through changes to public employee health care plans and other efficiencies in state government.

“This isn’t lesser quality, cheaper care. We didn’t get there by making individuals pay more for what they have,” Murphy said. “This is protecting high-quality care at a lower cost. Running the place smarter, frankly. And you need everybody at the table to get that done.”

The budget also continues to boost funding for K-12th grade and higher education, workforce development and mass transit, and projects for the state to have a $1.2 billion surplus by the end of the fiscal year in June 2020.

Murphy argues those investments are needed to continue to stoke the state’s economic growth, and that the larger surplus and other moves to reduce the state’s reliance on “one-shot” revenues, diversions and raids to balance the budget could set the table for a future credit upgrade following numerous downgrades during the previous administration of Republican Chris Christie.



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