Top NJ lawmaker at odds with governor over budget

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

A top New Jersey lawmaker says he will advance a budget that substitutes Gov. Phil Murphy's proposed income and sales tax increases for a surcharge on businesses while adding millions of dollars more in other spending.

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney said Friday he would unveil his budget to lawmakers Monday with a committee vote expected Tuesday. He says a final vote could come Thursday.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature and Democratic governor have until June 30 to enact a balanced budget.

Lawmakers balked at Murphy's proposed $37.4 billion spending plan over his proposed roughly $1.6 billion in tax increases. Instead Sweeney wants a 3 percent surcharge on some businesses over two years.

Sweeney also faulted Murphy over cuts of about $150 million in spending priorities and says he will restore them.

The governor responded on Twitter Friday afternoon, saying in part, “For the past eight years, Gov. Christie cut irresponsible budget deals that weakened our economy…I refuse to do that.”

Murphy continued, “I have a simple approach: Fix what's broken and make sure that everyone is paying their fair share. New Jersey didn't elect me to paper over problems with the same failed policies of the past."

Lawmakers have until June 30 to pass the budget or face a second government shutdown in as many years.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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