‘I can't play politics with innocent lives’: Murphy takes shutdown option off table

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SECAUCUS -

Saying that he “can’t play politics with innocent lives,” Gov. Phil Murphy has taken a government shutdown option off the table and says that he will enact a state budget by the Sunday deadline.

“I'm elected to discharge responsibly my constitutional duty,” Murphy said Thursday, adding, “I've taken nothing else off the table. Period.”

The Democrat-led Legislature sent Murphy a $38.7 billion budget, much of which reflects Murphy's priorities. It includes billions for schools, public pensions and transit.

RELATED: Murphy remains mum on if he will sign state budget 

But legislators didn't send him a higher tax on millionaires that he sought, nor did they include nearly $30 million more for community colleges or higher fees for gun licenses.

Murphy says he hasn't yet taken action on the budget because he's still going through it. The governor has hinted that he could use his line-item veto on some spending, but hasn't specified what.

A state budget needs to be approved by midnight on June 30.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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