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Monday, July 1, 2019

Governor Murphy Signs FY2020 State Budget
Hours Before Budget Deadline
On June 30, Governor Phil Murphy signed the FY2020 state budget in an afternoon press conference surrounded by supporters.

The $38.7 billion budget is largely similar to the budget the Legislature passed and sent to the Governor on June 20, which removed all initially proposed tax increases including the “millionaire’s tax” – a major priority to the Governor. However, the final budget did include an increase from 2 percent to 3 percent on what Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) charge consumers for health policies.

Although Governor Murphy signed the budget, he line item vetoed just under $50 million in spending added by the Legislature, including spending identified for South Jersey-based organizations including:

  • $5 million grant to Cooper University Hospital for a "vulnerable communities’ access to care" initiative
  • $500,000 from Rutgers University – Camden for a Camden workforce study with the Cooper's Ferry Partnership
  • $500,000 cut in “Institutional Support” for Rutgers University – Camden

A provision was also vetoed that would allocate $4 million from the sale of state land intended for a “development” project at the Wildwood Boardwalk. However, there is a similar bill on the Governor’s desk awaiting action, A-3869 (Land/Milam)/S-1364 (Andrzrejczak), which would allocate the same amount of money for the same project over a longer time period. The CCSNJ supported this bill and will keep you apprised as to the Governor’s actions on it.

In addition to the line item vetoes, Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 73directing the Department of Treasury to place up to $235 million in discretionary spending into reserve, essentially freezing it. These allocations will be monitored by the Department and released if, during the course of the fiscal year, sufficient revenues and assumed savings materialize. The Governor stated that, “the Executive Order was deemed necessary since the budget passed by the Legislature did not include much-needed reliable and recurring revenue sources – such as the millionaire’s tax – and instead included additional spending, while relying heavily upon questionable revenue and savings projections.”

After the budget was signed, Senate President Steve Sweeney gave a press conference applauding the Governor for signing a “sound, healthy and fair” budget that “deals with a lot of issues of importance.” Assembly Speaker Coughlin released a written statement,which you can find here.

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