Gov. Murphy approves state budget, avoiding government shutdown

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TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy reluctantly signed the nearly $40 billion state budget Sunday afternoon, avoiding a state government shutdown.

The budget includes much of what Gov. Murphy said he wanted, but there's no millionaires tax.

Items in the budget that both the governor and Legislature agreed on include an extra $150 million for NJ Transit, $60 million more to expand pre-K and a nearly $4 billion pension payment.

RELATED: Governor signs $38.7B budget, boosting spending about 3% 

Gov. Murphy used his line-item veto to cut just under $50 million in legislative spending.

He also rearranged revenue projections and bulked up the surplus account and rainy day fund.

But the budget doesn't include several items that were on Murphy’s wish list, such as an additional tax on incomes over $1 million, raised fees on gun licenses, or a larger amount of funding for community.

Senate President Steve Sweeney certainly had his say in all of this, arguing New Jersey is a moderate state and not a liberal state.

Gov. Murphy says his fight for the middle class continues.

“The work on the fiscal year 2020 budget ends today,” says Gov. Murphy. “But the fight for the middle class and all those working to get there continues. So this is the question: whose side are you on? My answer is yours."

“Look at the total budget, we did well,” says Sen. Sweeney. “We did well and when the governor says ‘Whose side are we on? Whose side are you on?’ I'm on the side of all 9 million people in this state. Not just some.”

The avoidance of a government shutdown is one positive from the decision, but the battle between New Jersey's top Democrats clearly continues.

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