Letters to the Editor: Democrats/Republicans Prepare to Stop Murphy from Shutting Down NJ

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TRENTON NJ (June 30, 2018)(CNBNewsnet)--With just hours to go before a budget must be signed into law to prevent a government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature are preparing to override any veto in order to send a clear message to Governor Phil Murphy: it's wrong to force the people of New Jersey to pay higher income, sales and property taxes when Trump billionaire corporations should share the burden for critically needed investments in the state's future.
Although Governor Murphy was presented a balanced budget more than a week ago, he has dithered in deciding whether to sign it into law, manufacturing a crisis that threatens a government shutdown. Instead of seriously negotiating with Legislative leaders, the former Goldman Sachs salesman enlisted celebrities to back his call for higher taxes while threatening unspecified cuts targeting people who refuse to go along with his call for higher taxes.
Here are the facts:

  • Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature have been steadfast in their opposition to higher sales taxes, one of the most regressive taxes that primarily hurts those least able to afford paying more for the same things.
  • Democrats and Republicans in the state Legislature believe the state doesn't have a taxing problem, it has a spending problem and believe that Murphy was right when he called for fundamental reforms to the state's pension and benefit programs under then Governor Richard Codey. Now Governor Murphy has refused to push for changes that would impact some of his biggest political supporters.
  • The Legislature passed a balanced budget that funds the priorities it shares with the Governor: higher education funding, tax relief for homeowners and critical protections for the disabled, people with autism, and seniors.
  • But the Legislature believes that the same corporations that are receiving massive tax breaks under President Trump should help carry some of the burden.
  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Service (OLS) has certified that the revenue numbers the Legislature used.
  • The Governor has refused to identify what programs he would target with any line-item vetoes, ominously threatening to target legislators with political retribution if they refuse to go along with his call for higher income, taxes and property taxes.
If this state gets shut down because he has refused to negotiate seriously with the Legislature, it will be Phil Murphy's fault.
If the Legislature overrides his veto because he won't reform government or compel the Trump corporate billionaires to pay their fair share, it will be Phil Murphy's fault.
If he targets individual legislator's districts for deep cuts in retribution for opposing his call for higher income, sales and property taxes, Phil Murphy won't have changed the tone in Trenton, he'll have made it worse.
If Governor Murphy won't do what's right for the people of New Jersey, the Legislature will.

Signed:  New Jersey Future Fund