State Senate President Stephen Sweeney countered: “I’m negotiating against myself right now, and I know better.”

Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday he’s still hopeful New Jersey will avoid another government shutdown in 17 days — but he’s standing his ground on the tax hike plans at the center of his first state budget proposal.

“Eight months ago, voters were given a choice: Business as usual or real change,” the new governor told reporters at a news conference in Trenton. “They didn’t elect me, or frankly any of us, to continue the failed policies of the past.”

“They elected us to bring change,” Murphy added. “And I won’t settle for less.”

Murphy wants to raise taxes by more than $1.5 billion, in part through a millionaires tax and a bump in the state’s sales tax, to pay for increases in funding to education, transportation and more.

But people familiar with behind-the-scenes budget talks told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday that officials from the Democratic-controlled state Legislature presented Murphy’s administration with a possible counterproposal.

The one-page outline, which was first reported by NJ Advance Media on Monday, includes more than $1.6 billion in tax hikes on corporations, revenue from a tax amnesty program, plus hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts and projected savings.

The dueling plans come even though Democrats are in charge of all branches of New Jersey government for the first time in eight years after Murphy succeeded former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican.

On Wednesday, Murphy raised the specter of Christie to say he won’t back down.

“For eight years, my predecessor kicked the can down the road from the right, and I’m not just going to do the opposite and kick the can down the road from the left and call that change,” Murphy said. “It’s time to fix what’s broken and make sure that everyone is paying their fair share.”

.@GovMurphy is still not backing down on his call for tax hikes in N.J. despite ongoing pushback from his fellow Democrats.

— Brent Johnson (@johnsb01) June 13, 2018

Murphy says he still hasn’t seen an alternative plan he thinks is better.

— Brent Johnson (@johnsb01) June 13, 2018

But state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, also a Democrat and the second-most powerful elected official in the state, said Murphy is focused too much on …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News


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Phil Murphy stands by his tax hike plan as possible shutdown looms

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