Still no deal on a New Jersey budget as shutdown looms

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy says he and Democratic legislative leaders have so far failed to reach a deal on the state budget.

If a balanced budget is not in place by midnight Saturday the state government faces a shutdown.

The major sticking point has been how much to raise taxes. Murphy wants to raise the income tax rate on people making more than $1 million to 10.75 percent.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said late Friday he offered a 9.95 percent rate on income over $5 million. Murphy says too many of the wealthiest would not pay their share.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy, Cabinet meet to weigh possible government shutdown

"In response to our last proposal, the governor offered no compromise. He offered no counter-proposal and he rejected it outright. I still believe that the document, the budget…that is now on the governor's desk is meritorious of his signature,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

But the governor said that he was elected to change how things are done in the state capital.

"This is sort of just a continuation of the way things have always been done around here. We got elected to be different than that,” Murphy said. “Folks clearly elected us with a very clear policy set of principles including a millionaire’s tax, including historic reinvestment in the middle class and the dreams of those who look up and aspire to get into it.”

Legislative leaders say they are still willing to meet again with the governor and have until 11:59 p.m. Saturday to work out an agreement.

If the state government does shut down, state parks, beaches and racetracks will be forced to close, potentially for the Fourth of July Weekend. Atlantic City casinos will be able to stay open for a week, under state law.

The shutdown could have a major impact on sports betting, which was made legal just two weeks ago. Casinos and tracks are the only places allowed to accept sports bets in person.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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