Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Senate Republicans have sought to work collaboratively with Governor Murphy and our colleagues in the Legislature to address the many challenges facing New Jersey, including a State Budget shortfall resulting from significant tax revenue losses. We have offered thoughtful solutions to save money and increase revenues without raising taxes or resorting to unconstitutional borrowing.
For example, our caucus has proposed a meaningful furlough program for State workers coupled with a real wage freeze to ensure that public employees share in sacrifice that the governor has demanded of those in the private sector. We’ve also suggested preventing New York from continuing to tax New Jersey commuters who have been working from home due to COVID-19, which could provide income tax savings to those workers and boost State revenues. We also urged the governor to lift restrictions more quickly on businesses and industries that had developed detailed plans to reopen safely, which could have restarted the New Jersey economy faster, limiting the State’s loss of tax revenues.
Unfortunately, the Murphy administration has shunned a bipartisan approach and chosen to go it alone by taking steps that don’t even qualify as half-measures, including the proposal of this three-month budget extension without significant legislative input and no public hearings.
For those reasons, we cannot in good conscience vote in support of Governor Murphy’s $7.7 billion spending proposal.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24)
Senator Sam Thompson (R-12)
Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13)
Senator Michael Testa (R-1)