TRENTON, N.J. –As the Democrat-controlled Legislature advances their $38.7 billion budget without Gov. Murphy’s controversial millionaire’s tax, the likelihood of a government shutdown over the proposed spending plan increases. Murphy and union leaders held a press conference yesterday to pressure lawmakers to include the tax on those making over $1 million, but their efforts remain unsuccessful.
“The Democrats refuse to back down and the governor has said he is leaving all options on the table in order to get his tax hike. The fighting continues and the budget deadline is getting closer, which means so is a shutdown,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi who sponsors legislation to prevent a government shutdown.
If the governor fails to sign a budget before July 1, the state’s beaches, parks and courts would close and thousands of state workers would be furloughed ahead of the July 4th holiday.
“People’s lives should not have to be put on hold just because state officials failed to carry out their constitutional duty,” she said.
Schepisi’s bill, ACR216, would allow the current state budget to remain in effect after June 30. However, the budget would be reduced by five percent each month until a new budget is adopted.
“Punishing our taxpaying citizens over a fight for yet another new tax just adds insult to injury,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). “My bill would stop a shutdown, but not the need to act on a new budget.”
The bill was referred to the Assembly Budget Committee, which is not scheduled to meet again before the end of this fiscal year. If the Legislature does advance the bill, the public would need to vote on it in the next general election because it amends the state constitution.