Supporting Gov. Murphy's Budget

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 09/09/2020

Surprise! It’s budget season in NJ. A process that usually sneaks past while everyone is distracted by summer has shifted this year due to COVID-19. We need to pay close attention to what happens around this budget, even more so this year due to the number of our neighbors struggling financially.

The last time a NJ budget was proposed in response to an economic downturn, former Governor Christie’s budget became a case study in how not to respond to a slumping economy. The combination of deep cuts to services and cutting taxes on the wealthy failed the state and its residents. Studies show that states that responded to the 2008 Great Recession this way delayed their recovery. In fact, 12 years later, NJ has not fully recovered from the policy and revenue decisions made by Christie. Now the pandemic has caused a new economic collapse.

Economists find, time and time again, that the best way out of an economic downturn are the same policies that are always good governance: investing in communities. This is what Governor Murphy’s budget does: avoiding cuts in Education Aid to local districts, taking a big step in catching up the pension fund, introducing new programs like the baby bonds to help NJ become more racially equitable, seeking new revenue through taxation of the wealthiest in NJ, and borrowing to ensure we have the money to pay for these programs and to continue to maintain a rainy day fund. Tell your representatives, “Invest in us.”

Topics: TaxesBudgetGovernment ServicesPhil MurphyChris Christie