Murphy remains mum on if he will sign state budget

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Gov. Phil Murphy would still not say if he would sign a state budget given to him last week by state legislatures.

The governor appeared on News 12 New Jersey’s “Ask Gov. Murphy” program Wednesday evening. A budget must be approved by midnight on June 30 or a government shutdown will occur.

"There is a lot of squishiness on the revenue side and I've got a constitutional responsibility to certify the revenues,” Murphy said. "The overwhelmingly good news is the budget we presented in early March and the budget we got back six days ago have a lot of similarities in terms of funding the middle class in our state."

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The governor did say that he was concerned about the revenue streams in the budget, particularly his proposed tax on millionaires that other state lawmakers have opposed.

Earlier in the day, Murphy spoke at Passaic County Community College about a grant program that began last year in his first state budget. Murphy said that the future of that program is unclear due to cuts in this year’s budget.

The grants help low-income students afford community college.

Murphy had sought $58.5 million in his proposed budget. But the Legislature only set aside $30 million in their proposal.

The governor says his administration will have to figure out how the program will go forward. Higher Education Secretary Zakiya Smith Ellis estimated the program, which started earlier this year, has helped between 5,000 and 10,000 students.

Murphy called it "stone cold crazy stupid" not to fund the program at the higher level he sought.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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