Both of Murphy’s most likely 2021 Republican challengers say new borrowing isn’t acceptable.
“Some politicians in Trenton will always be owned by the public sector labor unions,” said NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt. “Governor Murphy and Speaker Coughlin would rather mortgage the State’s future with a multi-billion dollar borrowing scheme than make needed budget cuts that reduce spending and spare taxpayers the added crunch.”
Steinhardt hasn’t announced his candidacy to-date, but it’s universally anticipated that he will sometime towards the end or after the 2020 cycle.
Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) – who has already announced his candidacy – took his criticism one step further by threatening to initiate a lawsuit of his own.
“Governor, I implore you to abandon this reckless borrowing scheme and work with both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to chart a new path forward for our state.” Ciattarelli said in his own statement. “For the sake of taxpayers and future generations of New Jerseyans, do not lazily repeat past mistakes that have left us financially ill-prepared to deal with the crisis at-hand. If you choose to press forward, I will file my complaint and see you in court.”
Past attempts by New Jersey governors to borrow to meet budget gaps have been defeated in state court.
Murphy faces reelection next year in an increasingly uncertain environment though, as of April, his pandemic approval ratings remained very strong.