Democrats mad, but Murphy won’t shut government July 1
Gov. Phil Murphy said there will not be a state shutdown because over the state budget but the final agreement is still being worked out.
During a news conference about NJ Transit, Murphy said that going into the July 4 holiday he could not "play politics" and subject residents to the "inconveniences" of a government shutdown.
"I want our families to know that come Monday, July 1, our investments in them will be made without delay and state services will be available to them," the governor said.
Murphy said talks with legislative leaders have been going well.
The governor has hinted that he could use his line-item veto on some spending, but hasn't specified what.
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. But Democrats have been at odds over a millionaire's tax that Murphy strongly supports and believes will provide a steady stream of revenue.
Murphy said Wednesday he's "kind of had it with folks who can’t answer that very clear question: Whose side are you on? I know which side I’m on. I know which side these folks are on. Folks down the street and elsewhere are going to have to answer that for themselves.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Murphy’s chief nemesis in Trenton, said Murphy “is starting to resemble Donald Trump in bombast, inconsistency and unreliability.”
“The governor is repeating himself with a series of misguided and misinformed tantrums in an attempt to distract attention from his legislative and policy failures. His statements have been inconsistent on the facts, but they have become consistently wrong,” Sweeney said.
“I want to be clear in stating that when it comes to recognizing which side I am on, I am on the side of the taxpayers of New Jersey and our hard working middle class families who want public officials to actually take their side, not just repeat empty rhetoric,” he said.
Sweeney said “the Legislature and the working people throughout the state” will work to move New Jersey forward – “with or without the governor’s participation.”
Michael Symons and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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