Gov. Phil Murphy touts 2019 state budget on News 12
Gov. Phil Murphy is touting his 2019 state budget, which was finally passed after a lengthy debate with New Jersey’s other Democratic lawmakers.
The governor spoke with News 12 New Jersey’s Katie Kyros about what the budget entails and his plans going forward.
The new budget includes increases in funds for New Jersey schools and transportation.
Murphy and legislators reached an agreement to change the state's school funding formula. Three-hundred school districts will see more aid in the coming year, with nearly 200 losing some aid as the state phases out "adjustment aid."
FULL INTERVIEW: Gov. Phil Murphy phone call on News 12
New Jersey Transit will receive more than $240 million in additional aid.
Murphy made some compromises with lawmakers in order to get his budget passed: in particular, the millionaire’s tax. The governor wanted to tax people who make at least $1 million a year. Legislators agreed on a tax for residents who make $5 million.
Several op-ed pieces have suggested that the governor gave more in his compromises than he received. But he says that he disagrees.
“The winner here is the middle class of New Jersey and those who dream…to someday get into the middle class,” Murphy said. “We got 99 percent of what we asked for, so to me the middle class is the big winner.”
Murphy also said that the legalization of recreational marijuana is high on his list of priorities for the year. It was one of his initial platforms when running in the election.
“I’m confident that will still happen. As I’ve said right from the beginning, we wanted it but we needed… to do it right,” he said. “This is a high priority post-budget to get that over the goal line.”
The governor said that he was happy to avoid a government shutdown and said that he was going to spend the Fourth of July holiday with his family and the citizens of New Jersey.
“We’ll be out there with folks. It’s the quintessential American holiday,” he said.