Murphy unveils $48.9B proposed New Jersey spending plan

Murphy unveils $48.9B proposed New Jersey spending plan

March 21, 2022 0 By T.A. DeFeo

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a $48.9 billion fiscal 2023 spending plan, one that includes a $4.2 billion budget “surplus.”

In fiscal 2023, Murphy anticipates the state will see $47.2 billion in revenues, up from $46.9 billion projected for fiscal 2022, and the budget projects the state will end fiscal 2022 with a $6.2 billion surplus. The proposal also includes a more than $6.8 billion pension payment.

“The budget I propose today continues the work of the past four years – restoring fiscal responsibility, promoting economic growth, and making New Jersey stronger, fairer, and more affordable for our families and seniors,” Murphy, a Democrat, said in an announcement. “I am proud that, across our first four years working together, we cut taxes for our middle-class and working families and seniors 14 times.”

The budget includes:

• $19.2 billion for pre-K-12 education, including $857.1 million from the Lottery Enterprise Contribution Act.

• $2.9 billion, including $132.7 million from the Lottery Enterprise Contribution Act, for higher education institutions and programs that provide financial help to students.

• $2 billion for the State Transportation Capital Program.

• $900 million for the Homeowners and Renters Property Tax Relief Program, commonly known as ANCHOR.

• $760 million for NJ Transit capital projects.

• An additional $650 million in K-12 funding formula aid.

• $430 million for the Schools Development Authority and the Department of Education for school construction and renovation.

• $30 million to help the state meet its goal of a 100% electric vehicle fleet by 2035.

“The structural imbalance of this $48.9 billion budget also gives us pause,” the New Jersey Business & Industry Association said in a statement. “There is $1.7 billion more in appropriations than projected incoming revenues. Additionally, with this proposal, the budget will have increased 41% since Gov. Murphy took office.”

Predictably, the reaction to the spending plan split along party lines.

“This is a fiscal plan we can build upon,” Senate President Nick Scutari, D-Union, said in a statement. “We will work to develop a budget that finds savings and efficiencies so all our resources are used effectively.

“Our top priority will be property tax relief. We will review all proposals to find the best ways to reduce the tax burden on homeowners, businesses and renters.”

But New Jersey Republicans lambasted the governor for increasing the budget.

“If you factor in $3 billion of off-budget federal aid and $600 million unfactored capital spending accounts, the increase is insane,” state Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Montville, said in a statement. “What family runs their budget like Gov. Murphy runs the state budget?”

Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, R-Morris, said the education funding Murphy proposed isn’t enough.

“We have a teacher shortage, skyrocketing bus contracts, and student mental health problems and learning loss to deal with,” Dunn said in a statement. “Spending has increased and will increase by more than it would take to fully fund schools.

“As a parent, I don’t understand why his constitutional duty isn’t a priority. When are we going to make children’s well-being a priority?”

This article was originally posted on Murphy unveils $48.9B proposed New Jersey spending plan