TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Budget Committee advanced a $7.75 billion three-month supplemental spending plan on Thursday but not without controversy.
Legislators didn’t have much time to consider the proposal; it was only made public two hours before the Democrat-controlled committee’s vote.
“There is a complete failure to be transparent leading up to a very important vote,” said Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-24). “To cut all property tax relief specifically designed to help seniors and the disabled make ends meet is something that should never be voted for. The public deserves to know what is being voted on more than two hours before it passes.”
The budget stop-gap measure passed after the Murphy Administration cut a deal with the CWA for a modest furlough in lieu of layoffs.
Republicans complained that the supplemental bill amounts to a taxpayer insult.
“All of the talk was about heavy hearts for having to cut services without any remorse that taxpayers are losing relief but also paying for public union raises and job security,” said Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-13). “Everything is on the table to be cut except public employee pay raises. This is a mess of a process when there was a month to get things together.”
Governor Murphy has repeatedly begged the Trump Administration for a federal bailout which it claims New Jersey needs to avoid laying off public employees.