Murphy, lawmakers reach budget deal to avert shutdown

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Gov. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers reached a deal on the state budget Saturday evening, averting a government shutdown hours ahead of the midnight deadline.

After all the back and forth between the governor and Democratic state leaders about taxes and how to raise them — both sides reached a deal that they say is "balanced, fair and responsible."

MORE COVERAGE: News conference on budget deal | What's affected in a state gov't shutdown?

"We had honest, blunt – sometimes heated, yet always civil discussions,” said Gov. Murphy. “I have tremendous respect for the leaders individually and as partners in governing."

State Sen. Steve Sweeney said that it was “never a disagreement where we wanted to go, it was how to get there."

They got there by agreeing on multiple terms:

-    Raising taxes on income exceeding $5 million from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent.
-    Charging corporations with a 2.5 percent surtax in 2018 and 2019. In 2020 and 2021, they will get a 1.5 percent hike each year.
-    Taking the sales tax hike to 7 percent off the table, as long as the "right balance" can be attained in generating revenues. 
-    Restoring $20 million in aid for community college for a total investment in the coming year of $25 million.

“This is not a win for any of us individually. This is a win for the middle class and working families and for those who look up and dream to be in the middle class all across New Jersey," said the governor.

When asked if he plans to go to the beach Sunday, Gov. Murphy says he plans to swear in some mayors and watch some soccer. The state legislature will return Sunday morning to caucus and vote on bills.

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