TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican budget officer John DiMaio criticized the Democrat legislature’s $38.7 billion FY2020 budget on Thursday, comparing the Democrats’ internal debate to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
While Democrats rejected tax and fee increases demanded by Governor Phil Murphy, DiMaio (R-23) noted that Trenton is still spending $5 billion more today than when Murphy became governor. The state pension system remains underfunded by $1.6 billion and property taxes continue to rise notwithstanding all of the new spending.
“With five-billion dollars, we should have been able to be more aggressive with that,” said DiMaio, opining on the Democrats’ school funding plan. “Then force that money to go back to reduce local tax levies and help our local property taxpayers.”
DiMaio and the rest of the GOP Assembly caucus voted against the budget; seven Republican state senators voted for it.