TRENTON, N.J. – Following the first public hearing on Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed 2020 budget Wednesday, Assemblyman John DiMaio, the Republican budget officer, spoke about the state’s strain for cash and how high taxes are making life more difficult, not better, for New Jerseyans.
“One of the things that’s gone off the rails a little bit in New Jersey is we now tax more. We take money away from people and then volunteer groups and certain groups that benefit other individuals don’t get the money they used to get from donors,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “We see people from all different interests. A lot of these groups are more volunteer in nature and they’re looking for funding.”
Dozens of representatives from non-profits to schools and residents who shared their concerns testified before the Assembly budget committee. Nearly every person testifying asked for more state funding, worried that the lack of money they are receiving will end the critical services they provide or need.
In Murphy’s first two budgets, spending increases total $5 billion when taking into account $1.1 billion in purported savings.
“You know, this entire process is like a voodoo science,” DiMaio explained. “We are constantly looking for new streams of revenue so we can go out and spend more money on things that we may or may not need to do. And the process falls apart. We can’t even properly fund schools.”