Gov. Murphy still hasn’t said if he would sign a state budget

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With only a few days left until the deadline, Gov. Phil Murphy would still not say if he would sign the state budget given to him by the state Legislature.

“They met their constitutional responsibility by giving me a budget. I’m the governor. I now have the responsibility with the budget on my desk,” Murphy said at an event in Ewing.

Murphy has been trying to pressure lawmakers to approve some of his priorities in a state budget, including a tax on millionaires. But he has not said if he would sign, veto or line-item veto a budget without the tax.

“We're adults. I take my constitutional responsibility and my role as the chief executive officer of the state deadly serious and we don't just make decisions for the sake of politics,” the governor said.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy: Legislature’s budget proposal is ‘short-sighted’ 
RELATED: NJ lawmakers pass $38.7B budget proposal, send it to Gov. Murphy 

Murphy did mention that the Legislature’s budget leaves out a $21.5 million fee levied on opioid makers.

“Our budget asked the big opioid manufacturers and distributors whose products and marketing have contributed to the epidemic to kick in $21.5 million toward that $100 million that New Jersey will be spending on our anti-addiction efforts,” said Murphy.

But the governor also highlighted some areas of the Legislature’s budget that he did agree with.

“The Legislature sent us a budget back that includes funding for an overwhelming amount of the funding of the programs that we care about. And so I cannot say that more strongly. And that means a lot,” he said.

Murphy acknowledged that time was running out to approve a budget.

“We were sent here to fix this state and to fix it responsibly. And I take that responsibility deadly seriously,” said Murphy. “I want folks to know that we don't make any decisions we make lightly.”

The governor said the fee on opioid manufacturers is intended as reimbursement. The state will still spend $100 million to fight the opioid epidemic regardless of what happens with the fee.


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