TRENTON, N.J. – In a video released Tuesday that mocks Gov. Phil Murphy’s record gubernatorial budget message extensions, the New Jersey Assembly Republicans borrow a line made famous by Britney Spears to convey the governor’s unapologetic disregard for a statutorily-mandated process.
Although state law requires the governor’s budget message to be delivered today, Tuesday, Feb. 22, the legislature passed a bill (A2063/A1414) along party lines granting him a two-week extension. Murphy alleges it is a matter of safety even as Covid-19 cases continue their precipitous decline.
“While we wanted to have some fun with the video, the reality is that this move delays the budget process unnecessarily. There will be less time for important public input and discussion that helps legislators decide on a final budget. This move is government at its worst,” said Assemblyman Hal Wirths, the Republican budget officer. “This is another example of ‘rules for thee, but not for me.’ This delay is politically motivated and will have real-life consequences for our taxpayers who deserve a transparent and responsible budget that puts them first.”
Most governors only took budget message extensions in their first year or when faced with a revenue shortfall, but Murphy is flush with cash, the video says. The three-time extension makes it the most in modern history.