MURPHY’S BUDGET FREEZE HITS AID FOR NEEDY TOWNS

Brenda Flanagan | July 8, 2019 | NJTV News |

 

Decision creates difficulties for municipalities like Paterson, Atlantic City and Camden

 

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says his city relies heavily on state transitional aid, receiving $33 million last year. This year they hoped for $26 million, but Gov. Phil Murphy has frozen most of the transitional aid to municipalities in the new state budget. It’s the biggest chunk of $235 million in spending items that the governor has locked up in reserve. It was part of a list the Treasury unveiled Wednesday, along with 64 other items that include aid for colleges, hospitals, parks and prisons.

“The overwhelming amount of the up to $235 [million] are programs we like,” Murphy said.

When he signed the $38.7 billion state budget, Murphy indicated he couldn’t justify authorizing those expenditures because he believed the Legislature overestimated its revenue projections by $200 million and lawmakers had refused to raise more revenue by passing his millionaires tax.

“I want to build a basketball hoop in every driveway in the state, but in the end of the day the buck stops with me. I’ve got to certify these revenues. I’ve got to make sure that we are within our means,” Murphy said.

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