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Gov. Murphy proposes budget that boosts school, transit aid in NJ

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 14:51:55-05

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a $40.9 billion budget for fiscal year 2021 on Tuesday.

The Democrat proposed boosting overall spending by more than 5% compared with the plan he put forward last year and once again raising marginal income tax rates on the wealthy.

“Since taking office, we’ve sought to build a stronger and fairer economy for every New Jersey family, not just the wealthy or well-connected. From fighting for tax fairness to boosting funding for our public schools to stabilizing property taxes, I’m proud to say that our budget prioritizes the needs of all our residents,” Gov. Murphy said.

This is Murphy's third state budget since he was sworn in in 2018. It calls for higher spending on education, transit and public pensions and would set aside $1.6 billion in surplus, up from $1.2 billion in the current year.

Components in building progress include maintaining fiscal responsibility such as building up the Surplus Revenue Fund or “rainy day fund,” restoring faith in the pension system and pursuing savings opportunities; Improving affordability and stabilizing property taxes by strengthening public education, expanding Pre-K education, transforming higher education and lowering health care costs; Growing the economy through preparing a world-class workforce, fast-tracking NJ transit improvements, and clean energy opportunities; and Investing in the future through funds in defending women’s health care, addressing mental health needs and exporting poverty relief.

Murphy cast the budget as a continuation of his campaign pledge to make the state “stronger and fairer," though Republicans attack him for proposing tax increases, which they argue makes the state less affordable.

Prior to discussing the budget plan, Murphy thanked everyone for their well wishes after he announced he has a tumor in his left kidney. Murphy tweeted Saturday evening that he will undergo a partial nephrectomy in early March to remove it, but the added that the prognosis is "very good."

Watch Gov. Murphy's budget announcement in the video below.