New Jersey lawmakers have ended their public hearings on Governor Murphy’s proposed budget and are now hoping an agreement is reached to get the budget enacted by the June 30th deadline.
Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo does not believe there will be a stalemate in budget talks that lead to a state government shutdown.
“Well I don’t think we’re that far off. I mean we’re making progress. Discussions are continuing and ongoing. I am confident that we’re not going to get to a situation that we had last year.”
The governor’s budget plan calls for a tax surcharge on millionaires, raising the sales tax back to 7 percent, and some other taxes to pay for proposed increased funding for schools, New Jersey Transit, the public employee pension system, and a phase in of free community college.
Sarlo says lawmakers will exhaust all options for cost efficiencies and cuts before resorting to raising taxes.
“Discussions are ongoing with the Senate President and others and we’re going to continue to have these conversations. And I think at the end of the day we’re going to have a balanced budget for New Jersey and if it does have to include a tax, it will be the last resort.”