Governor Phil Murphy

New Jersey Reacts to Governor Phil Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget:
A Blueprint for the Middle Class

03/05/2019

TRENTON – Elected officials and advocates from across New Jersey lauded Governor Phil Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, delivered today. The Governor’s proposed budget lays out a plan to put New Jersey on a responsible path forward through over $1.1 billion in sustainable savings and support for our middle class through targeted investments in NJ TRANSIT, school funding, social services, and property tax relief. 

See below for reactions to Governor Murphy’s budget:


Reverend Dr. Bryant Ali, Pastor, New Psalmist Worship Center and President, Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark and Vicinity:
“Realistic Prison reform, reentry, opportunity to attend community colleges for free and a livable wage will definitely help turn our hoods back into neighborhoods .The expunged records for those long hindered by weed convictions will help restore the racial equality our justice system greatly needs.” 


Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey:

“Governor Murphy is putting forth a blueprint towards a more sustainable system that does not continue to balance the state budget on the backs of the poor and working families. This proposal will help build stronger communities. We are particularly excited about the proposal of full funding for the homeless trust fund to maintain a true safety net for New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.” 


Will Austin, President, Warren County Community College: 

“Governor Murphy’s Community College Opportunity Grants represent the implementation of a forward thinking, game changing and sweeping reform to New Jersey’s higher education landscape. By making a higher education affordable to all citizens, the Murphy administration has taken a great leap forward toward the attainment of an innovation economy realized through the creation of the educated workforce required to compete in a competitive environment.”

Mayor Ras Baraka, City of Newark:
“I applaud Governor Murphy’s budget for employing the millionaire’s tax to ensure progress in education, transportation and other critical needs of New Jersey’s cities. At a time when America’s wealth and income gap between the very rich and the middle class and poor continues to grow, it is important that all residents pay their fair share.”


Reverend Dr. Steffie Bartley, Interim Regional Field Director, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut and National Board Member National Action Network:

"I’m honored to be here today to share some highlights that have been included in today’s budget announcement by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. He and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Murphy are continuing their “Promises Made Promises Kept” theme and the civil rights community applauds the work that has been done around education, transportation, technology, criminal justice reform, affordable housing, mental health and other areas that impact New Jersey residents. Governor Murphy’s budget includes a progressive agenda that saved over one billion dollars, provides health care and other critical benefits to public employees, invests in Pre-K, public education, free community college, reentry,  computer science for all,  infrastructure and other pillars for families in New Jersey. This is why communities of color overwhelmingly support this Governor. We in the civil rights community are looking forward to our continued work with the Murphy Administration around issues that impact Black and Brown residents of New Jersey disproportionately including criminal justice reform and re-entry, education and the achievement gap in technology. Thank you for the continued work that is being done in the Governor’s office.” 


Raj Bath, Business Representative, New Jersey Main Street Alliance:

“This budget brings our corporate tax incentive programs back in line with reality and levels the playing field for small business owners who pay their fair share of taxes. or nearly a decade our largest and most influential corporations and our wealthiest residents have benefited from massive tax breaks while main street New Jersey has been starved of critical investments in areas such as transportation, infrastructure and workforce development. This budget ensures that corporations and millionaire’s pay their fair share for programs and services that benefit businesses of all sizes. Small business is the backbone of our economy and New Jersey needs to invest our real job creators and the middle class that buys their goods and services, not corporations that give their profits to out-of-state shareholders.  We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and the State Legislature on building a common sense budget that works for main street.” 


Staci Berger, President and Chief, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s (the Network):
 
“We are thrilled that Governor Murphy is fulfilling his commitment to fully fund the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF), ending a decade of diverting these funds. Last year, the Real Estate Transfer Fee raised nearly $60 million for this fund. Public investments like this have helped non-profit community developers contribute $500 million annually to NJ’s economy by creating jobs, affordable homes, and generating tax revenue. Putting the state’s housing trust fund to work will build a thriving NJ. Housing affordability is an enormous concern for NJ residents. Last year, 86 percent of respondents told the Rutgers-Eagleton poll that housing affordability is a serious issue and supported using the Trust Fund as intended. Today’s announcement brings hope for our friends, families, and neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet. We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to see this budget adopted so we can all afford to call NJ home.” 


Jay Bhatti, Partner, BrandProject LP:   
“As someone who has followed the angel investor tax credit for the past 3 years, I am excited by the credit increase to 25% and another 5% for investing in underrepresented firms.  When I first looked at the angel tax as a VC myself, I found the process complicated and the benefits not strong enough to outweigh the risk. Now, with the Governor's and Tim Sullivan's leadership at the EDA, the process is easier and the incentives are strong enough to encourage greater investment in the state, while lowering some of the risk in investing in disruptive startups within New Jersey. This program along with the other programs the Governor is putting in place for the innovation economy continue to get us one step closer to reclaiming New Jersey place as the leading state for innovation in the country.” 

Donald Borden, President, Camden County College:   
“Camden County College appreciates the commitment from the state to provide financial support to our most needy students. This creates a model in which financial barriers no longer restrict people from getting the post-secondary education they need to be successful in their careers and lives. We could impact even more students in the future if this grant is extended. In fact, there is a need to increase the adjusted gross income to $75,000 as we heard from many students between $45,000 and $75,000 who we estimate would have benefited from this program.” 

Kevin Brown, Vice President and New Jersey State Director, 32BJ SEIU:   
Today's budget address should come as a relief for working families in New Jersey. First, Governor Murphy’s plan to tax the rich is the right move for N.J. where great inequities exist between classes. The millionaire’s tax was a smart idea last year, but was only partially enacted. We need to see individuals with income levels above the $1,000,000 threshold taxed appropriately. Those who benefit from Trump’s tax cuts are not leaving the state and, if they stay, they need to pay their fair share. This sensible taxation will result in increased state revenues that will lift the lower and middle classes. Secondly, we are pleased about the tentative agreement between the Governor and the Communications Workers of America New Jersey that includes major health-care savings. This deal shows that governments and unions can work together for a winning solution that truly supports working families. In this case, it means lower costs for the state while providing health care to union members. Murphy’s commitment to protect public employees and uphold a union’s right to collectively bargain reinforces his dedication to fighting for working people and shows he is a true labor ally.


Michele Byers, Executive Director, NJ Conservation Foundation:
“We are pleased that Governor Murphy is building on his commitment to address climate change by establishing an Office of Climate Resilience within the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and moving to restore Clean Energy Funds. These investments will support natural solutions to better prepare New Jersey for a changing climate, and the growth of renewables and energy efficiency to reduce emissions and create jobs.” 

Michael Cioce, President, Rowan College at Burlington County:  
“Rowan College at Burlington County’s path to high-quality affordable college degrees aligns with Governor Murphy’s goals for higher education in New Jersey and we look forward to the statewide expansion of the Community College Opportunity Grant to increase the number of college students in New Jersey.”


The Computer Science Teachers Association of NJ:
The Computer Science Teachers Association of NJ (CSTANJ) appreciates Governor Murphy's support of Computer Science Education and his vision of #CSforAll.   Every student in New Jersey should have the chance to study Computer Science and to learn Computational Thinking skills, opening doors to further opportunities. The Governor's budget proposal will increase access to quality Computer Science Education to all New Jersey students.”

Jon Connolly, President, Sussex County Community College:

“The expansion of the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program statewide is an important step in helping community colleges fulfill their mission of access and completion. If higher education is not available to everyone in New Jersey, we all are held back.”

Kevin Corbett, Executive Director, NJ TRANSIT:

“Governor Murphy’s continued commitment to NJ TRANSIT has been crucial to our efforts to begin restoring the transit system into the world-class organization our customers deserve. With the resources the Governor has proposed, we will expand upon the successes we achieved last year with a continued focus on our core mission of providing safe and reliable transportation throughout New Jersey.”


Education Law Center:
   
“Education Law Center thanks Governor Phil Murphy for a second year of increased state aid for NJ public school students. This budget keeps us on the path of making up for almost a decade of neglect under former Governor Christie and moves us toward the goal of full funding of school districts’ adequacy budgets under the SFRA formula.   


Aaron Fichtner, President, New Jersey Council of County Colleges: 

“We applaud Governor Murphy for his bold vision for the future of our state. The Community College Opportunity Grant Program is critically important for our state, our economy and our people as we increase the number of people in New Jersey who hold post-secondary degrees or credentials. CCOG is instrumental in helping our residents obtain the skills and education they need to participate in the innovation economy and obtain family supporting careers.” 


Reva Foster, Chairwoman, New Jersey Black Issues Convention:
   
“This Budget is another bold and courageous step this Governor and Lieutenant Governor has made to get this state on the right track after being on the wrong track for 8 long years.  We are finally moving in the right direction. A progressive agenda that saves over one billion dollars, provides health care and other critical benefits to public employees, invests in pre K, public education, free community college, reentry, computer science for all, infrastructure, job creation through targeted investments are critical for New Jersey families.  The Governor continues to Keep his promises to the people of New Jersey.   Signing the Independent Prosecutor bill and 15.00 minimum wage legislation was transformational and historic. This is why communities of color overwhelmingly support this Governor,” 


Barbara Gaba, President, Atlantic Cape Community College:
   
“The Community College Opportunity Grants are removing a barrier for many who never thought that College was a possibility for them to attend; providing career and transfer opportunities for eligible students.”


Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action:

“Fiscal responsibility is a key component to environmental protection. Funding key environmental and public health safeguards has suffered over years of fiscal irresponsibility and it will take years to undo the damage done. Governor Murphy inherited this mess and his proposed budget is moving New Jersey in the right direction. This budget is demonstrably more fiscally responsible than years past - fewer one shots, over $1 billion in budget cuts, less diversion of dedicated funds and increased tax fairness. While some diversions continue and these can't end fast enough, it's good to see NJDEP remain relatively intact and some increased funding for Clean Energy and NJ Transit. However, all these programs require significant additional funding. We call on the Legislature to work with the Governor and public interest advocates to adopt a final budget that's even more fiscally responsible with even more tax fairness and increased funding for Clean Energy, NJ Transit and NJDEP. There are two areas that need additional attention, environmental justice and workforce development in order to expedite a transition to a clean, green, renewable economy. As more details become available and the budget process continues, we will flesh out and advocate our position further.”


Michael Gorman, President, Salem Community College:
 
“Education is the solution to every problem. Community colleges change lives, and the Community College Opportunity Grant helps us change the lives of those most significantly in need.”

Mayor Reed Gusciora, City of Trenton: 
“I’m excited about additional investments in crucial services such as education and transportation,” said Gusciora. “His commitment to invest more in schools and expand pre-K will help ensure access to quality public education for Trenton students. Additionally, Trenton is a transportation hub for the region, and investing more in NJ Transit means improving quality of life for our residents and those who work in our City. In speaking with the Governor, I appreciated his commitment to invest more in municipal aid and restore the Capital City Line Item,” said Gusciora. “I’m glad to see that Governor Murphy recognizes the importance of investing in the Capital City, that he has faith in what we are doing here in Trenton. With this increased funding, we will be able to improve City services that benefit both residents and State employees alike.”


John Harmon, President and CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce:
   
“The thing I admire the most about Governor Murphy is that he has been consistent in what he desires to accomplish and it is reflective in this budget. Moreover, he and his Administration have provided our organization the requisite access to foster and built a mutually beneficial relationship.” 


Debbie Hart, President & CEO, BioNJ:
   
Governor Murphy’s inclusion of the budget-neutral increase in the percentage of the angel investor tax credit increase is very exciting. This program has been proven to work in numerous states across the country in a very dramatic way with increases in high paying jobs and attraction of start ups. The program in New Jersey has been successful and has attracted new investors and startups and we are confident that with this increase in the percentage, additional innovation will ensue. BioNJ commends the Governor and we hope that the Legislature will support this important proposal.” 


Anthony Iacono, President, County College of Morris 

“The benefits of a great education support not only individuals but entire communities. The Community College Opportunity Grant is a great example of helping people so New Jersey can be its very best. County College of Morris believes that when students are denied the opportunity to acquire career skills because of lack of funding, the loss to our communities and our state is insurmountable. Each year, New Jersey’s community colleges offer the state a multi-billion dollar return on investment by serving as the state’s pipeline to a skilled workforce. Our future depends on this important investment.” 


Reverend Gregory Jackson, Senior Pastor, Mount Olive Baptist Church:
   
“This budget is another example as to why I supported the Governor from the beginning. I applaud the Governor for his investments in Education from Pre-K through Community College. He is keeping his promises to the people of New Jersey.”   


Jerome C. Johnson, General Chairman and President, Smart-TD Local 60:

“On behalf of Smart-TD Local 60, which represents the Conductors and Assistant Conductors employed at NJ Transit, I would like to applaud and thank Governor Murphy for his continuing investment in correcting the many published issue concerning NJ Transit. Not only has Governor Murphy placed a competent executive management team that shares the Governors vision for NJ Transit, but he also has stepped up and invested financially as well.  This investment will allow the Capital Fund account and Operational Fund account act independently. The action taken by the Governor can only solidify a more sustainable and stable Public Transportation Agency.  The steps that were taken only proves Executive Management and Labor can work collaboratively for the betterment of all parties involved.


Peter Kasabach, Executive Director, New Jersey Future: 

“New Jersey Future is encouraged by the governor’s commitment in his budget address to investing in critical infrastructure upgrades, particularly NJ Transit. Reliable public transportation is vital to the success of our cities and to meet the increasing demand for housing near transit, but this is not the only type of infrastructure in need of investment. Our water infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and we hope to see funding for this in the next budget.”


Frederick Keating, President, Rowan College at Gloucester County:
 
“Rowan College at Gloucester County was honored to be a recipient of the inaugural CCOG program funding for the spring 2019 semester. RCGC has been pleased to award and aid over 80 students with approximately $100,000 of last dollar aid to allow them to attend college this spring term and are extremely supportive of this program for future years. Without help, these students would not have been able to attend RCGC without the concern of a negative financial impact on their college success.”


Mayor John Labrosse, Hackensack:
   
"Kudos to Governor Phil Murphy on today's budget address in Trenton. Rebuilding and refunding NJ Transit, investing in our children and working to bring new businesses like Life/Science and high tech companies to our State." 


Jon Larson, President, Ocean County College:
   
“We are grateful for the generous support Governor Murphy has provided in his budget for New Jersey community colleges, in particular for the Community College Opportunity Grant program.”  


Brenda Lee, Phd, Greater Newark Alliance of Black School Educators, Inc. and Board NJBIC:
   
"Governor Murphy is living up to his promises of putting us on a path to fully fund public education.  He is truly a progressive leader who fully understands the relationship between social and economic justice. In spite of  the challenges faced with governance,  he demonstrates the willingness to work together to put New Jerseyans first.  The governor's message underscored the necessity of unity to ensure that New Jersey is better today than yesterday and hopefully will lead the nation in the future.   


Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, City of Plainfield:

“Governor Murphy has consistently shown that he is a man who keeps his promises and stays focused when he commits to a course of action. His agenda to date has been a progressive and fair one with an eye to making New Jersey a livable state for everyone. Legislative action such as the Paid Sick Leave Act and the Fifteen Dollars ($15) minimum wage, is evidence of the heart he has for the people. His current budget demonstrates his clear understanding of the issues that need to be addressed to make this state competitive; as it concerns creating opportunities so that the middle class can afford to live and work here. Many of our urban municipalities are resurging thanks to the support and vision of the Governor and his administration, a diversion from such a course could be detrimental to newly blossoming local economies; therefore, I am in full support of his proposed budget plan.”  


Bishop Tyrone McCombs, Presiding Prelate, South Jersey District, Church of God in Christ:
   
“The budget is a reflection of the Governor's commitment to helping people and creating a government with resources for the local community and all of its members.”  


Mark McCormick, Interim President, Middlesex County College:

“The Community College Opportunity Grant is an important program that is helping more of our residents earn a high quality college degree or credential. Middlesex County College is grateful to be participating in the CCOG pilot, and we are eager to see this program expanded to students throughout the state.”


Reverend Eric McCoy, Atlantic City:
   
“This aggressive forward action approach from this administration is far reaching and progressive for our state and also a model for our country the relationship between government and the community something that is needed in times today. God Bless Governor Murphy.”    


Michael Mcdonough, President, Raritan Valley Community College:

“Make no mistake, Governor Murphy’s proposed expansion of the Community College Opportunity Grant will transform the lives of thousands of New Jerseyans and fuel statewide economic growth. It provides access to affordable and exceptional education. More importantly, it provides hope and dignity to all residents of the Garden State.”   


Reverend Dr. Calvin Mckinney, General Secretary of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. and Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church of Garfield:
   
“I am fully behind the Governor and support his initiatives 100 percent. In light of his efforts to meet the needs of people, I believe his budgetary efforts are something that should be commended and supported by all. It is always my urging to share with constituent members of our convention who make up Baptists from around the state to be supportive of the Governor and his efforts.” 


Margaret McMenamin, President, Union County College: 

“Expanding access to affordable higher education to more residents of Union County will be transformational to individual recipients, their families and the local economy. We have proudly participated in the initial pilot program and would be grateful for the opportunity to further expand access to additional residents. A more educated workforce is a stronger workforce, and the whole community benefits.” 


Anthony Munroe, President, Essex County College:

“While Essex County College provides comprehensive financial assistance to more than half of our 8,000+ students, there remains a large population in Essex County in need of resources so that they can receive an affordable, high quality education. Essex County College was not selected to participate in the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) pilot this spring and the most needy of our students were denied critical financial support. If CCOG is expanded statewide, it will make a major difference here in Essex County. We expect that nearly 2,000 of our students would receive this valuable financial aid.”


New Jersey Citizen Action:
 
“For too many years millionaire’s and large corporations have benefited from billions of dollars in tax breaks at the state and federal level while lawmakers claim poverty when it comes to badly needed investments in infrastructure, working families and seniors,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action. “It’s time for these destructive policies to stop and for our millionaire’s and corporations to start paying their fair share. This budget puts us on that corrective course while also making middle class and working class New Jersyeans top priorities. Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit puts more money in the pockets of working families trying to make ends meet. Investing in education and making community college more affordable will ensure that all our state residents have the chance to acquire the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy. We look forward to working further with the Governor and our State Legislature to craft a budget that works for all New Jerseyans.”

New Jersey Work Environment Council:
"Today the Governor unveiled an exciting new budget, promising increased investment in our schools, our transportation, our infrastructure, and our middle class, as well as revealing a whopping $3.8b pension fund contribution. In the interest of accomplishing our goals at WEC we see these resources to be some of our states most vital. However, it is impossible for us to truly achieve these goals without tax fairness. By introducing a tax plan which supports the middle class and taxes millionaires, the governor’s office has demonstrated that it is serious about generating the revenue to achieve exciting, bold reforms which benefit workers and New Jersey’s communities."


Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters:

"As Governor Murphy continues to make good on his commitments to make New Jersey the greenest state in America, his proposed budget steps in the right direction by investing in our clean energy future and clean drinking water, and supporting the health of New Jersey's middle class and working families. By halving the amount diverted from the Clean Energy Fund, this budget goes a long way to restoring the Clean Energy Program to its mission of lowering energy costs for ratepayers through energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting renewable energy. We understand that completely eliminating the clean energy funds diverted in just one year was challenging, and we see the short-term investment in NJ Transit to improve public transportation options for families as acceptable this year. We’ll be looking at funding for the DEP to ensure the state can hold polluters accountable and expand critical conservation programs.” 


Christopher Reber
, President, Hudson County Community College:
“A college education has become essential to establishing a career and earning family sustaining wages. At Hudson County Community College we were honored to have been chosen to pilot the Community College Opportunity Grant during the spring 2019 semester. This program benefited nearly 600 students and Hudson County families in a short period of time and will surely benefit thousands going forward if funding is continued. The opportunities afforded these families is life-changing and transformative.”


Michael Redmond, President, Bergen Community College: 

“With the launch of the Community College Opportunity Grant, New Jersey has taken an important step in expanding access to a high-quality education, supporting economic growth and addressing evolving workforce needs. To build on this foundation, we must extend this strategic investment in our state’s future to all of the state’s community colleges to ensure access for all eligible New Jersey residents.” 


Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective:

“The budget outlined by Governor Murphy sets a foundation for shared prosperity and fiscal health. It pairs significant cost savings with continued investments in critical programs and services, while also committing to a healthy surplus that will safeguard the state from future economic downturns or natural disasters. Simply put, this is a fiscally sound vision that invests in New Jersey’s greatest assets while lifting up the most vulnerable families in the state. Further, we commend Governor Murphy for centering his speech on the state’s role in providing opportunities to help New Jersey families thrive in a variety of ways, including increased funding for affordable homes, expanding free community college, covering birth support for Black mothers, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit. We also applaud Governor Murphy for his commitment to tax fairness and his inclusion of a true millionaire’s tax in his budget proposal. Given the state’s growing income inequality, racial disparities, and lopsided tax code, asking New Jersey’s wealthiest individuals to pay a little bit more is the definition of fairness. This overdo change in the tax code will impact less than one percent of tax filers, many of whom just received a generous tax break from changes to the federal tax code. The additional funds from a millionaire’s tax will help to fund the state’s property tax relief programs and allow the state to continue investing in services that benefit all New Jerseyans.”  


Steven Rose, President, Passaic County Community College: 

“Most jobs being created in New Jersey will require a degree or certificate beyond high school. Community College Opportunity Grants send a powerful message that a college education is available to anyone willing to work for it.”  


Mayor Andre Sayegh, Paterson:
   
"A budget is a bundle of priorities and the Governor outlined an investment agenda that addresses two areas pivotal to Paterson's progress: Education and Economic Development.” 


Mayor Michael Soriano, Parsippany:

“Once again Governor Murphy has proven he is the adult in the room, what he presented today is a responsible budget that will grow the middle class and will invest in our children’s education and our states infrastructure, while working to reduce spending by over $1 billion dollars.”   


Mayor Bert H. Steinmann, Ewing Township: 
 
“I listened to your budget message today and wanted to offer my support at the Mayor of Ewing Township. One of the areas that is very important to Ewing Township are the Homestead Rebates. We have 2,700 residents that are eligible for the credit to their property tax bill. With the increase in funding to this program it will continue to help our residents. The additional funding to the Ewing Township School Board for the second year in a row will help all Ewing Residents. Our children receive a great education and are accepted to the best Trade Schools, College, and Universities in the USA. On behalf of Ewing Township and all our residents we thank you for remembering us.”


David Stout, President, Brookdale Community College:

“Brookdale Community College celebrates the expanded access to high-quality college education available through New Jersey’s Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) Program. Thanks to this program, Brookdale has partnered with our surrounding community to identify and remove barriers that often stand in the way of obtaining a college degree, such as confusing admissions and financial aid processes, transportation difficulties, food insecurity, and lack of access to technology. Further, the program enables Brookdale to implement innovative approaches that support student success, such as career exploration and planning services and peer mentorship. It is our hope that continued support and enhancements of the CCOG program, including statewide availability of tuition aid grants, will enable Brookdale to sustain the beneficial services of this program while reducing the overall cost of a college education.”  


Reverend John Taylor, Senior Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church:

“I thank the Governor for his unprecedented work to propel NJ back to the forefront.  What he has done has positively communities everywhere. Cross the board economic power for all people, education, transit. This Governor is covering it all and at the same time saved 1.1 billion dollars. Unheard of! Thank him for making this great effort to keep his campaign promises.”


Steve Tully, Executive Director, AFSCME New Jersey:

“AFSCME New Jersey Council 63 supports the budget proposal that Governor Murphy unveiled today. The Governor’s proposal continues to move New Jersey in the right direction by making investments in public services like education, transportation, higher education, and health care, while continuing to meet the State’s pension obligations to public employees. We strongly support his plan to invest in crucial programs and create new revenue sources to help provide quality public services that the people of New Jersey rely on. Governor Murphy’s proposal is the start of the budget process and AFSCME New Jersey looks forward to working alongside him, Lt. Governor Oliver and those serving in the New Jersey Legislature to continue to reverse the damage done to New Jersey’s economy by the previous administration and to build a stronger, fairer economy for the people of our state.”


Jianping Wang, President, Mercer County Community College: 

“The Community College Opportunity Grant has been a real game changer for the expansion of college accessibility, and ultimately for the success of economically-disadvantaged students. Instead of working two, even three jobs to support their families and cover college expenses, students can now focus more on their studies, with adequate time for family and other obligations. The success of this program will be reflected in a highly-educated workforce, leading to a more vibrant economy and a higher quality of life for all New Jerseyans.”


Kevin Walsh, Executive Director, Fair Share Housing Center:

“A commitment of almost $60 million toward building and preserving affordable homes is major progress by Gov. Murphy.  This is a win for working families and people with disabilities.  It is something urban and suburban municipalities and civil rights groups can support.  I am optimistic the Legislature will support this move because there are so many people and groups calling for the state to increase housing funding.” 


Reverend Melvin E. Wilson, Pastor and Teacher, St. Matthew AME Church:
  "Governor Murphy's proposed budget is the first step towards addressing years of neglect and inattentiveness to sorely needed areas in New Jersey. This budget seeks to improve the quality of life for everyone.” 


Charles Wowkanech, President, New Jersey AFL-CIO:
 
“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO commends Governor Murphy for his efforts to make New Jersey a stronger and fairer state. His proposed investments and progressive agenda will help position our state for an even brighter future. Working families in New Jersey are over-burdened with high property taxes. However, this budget proposal would maintain Governor Murphy’s commitment to tax fairness and help build a more secure middle class by raising the top marginal tax rate on income over $1 million. Ultimately, the plan set forth in the Governor’s budget address demonstrates that his administration is committed to putting New Jersey’s working families first. A higher tax rate on New Jersey’s wealthiest families would not only promote tax fairness, but also allow the state to make more investments in public education, workforce development and apprenticeship programs, and infrastructure—in particular NJ TRANSIT. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is also pleased that Governor Murphy plans to invest in meeting our state’s public employee pension obligation. We urge the legislature to continue to work with the Governor to fix our state’s ailing pension system and ensure a secure and sustainable retirement future for all public workers.”


Mayor Mike Puzio, Rockaway Township:

"This year's budget presented by Governor Murphy addresses key issues education infrastructure and the ongoing pension issues as related to our public work force. It is fair and balanced and provides the citizens of New Jersey with the services they deserve."

Rev. Antonio A Merino; President, Rev. Bolivar Flores, Vice President; Rev. Joshua Rodríguez, Advisor; Minister Esmeralda Trinidad, NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers:
“The Governor’s Budget is a strong critical step toward ensuring that Latino families and particularly our children can participate in the American Dream. While the budget produced  over one billion dollars in savings, the budget provides for critically needed health care, invests in pre K education, public primary and secondary education, free community college, reentry services, legal services for immigrants, and computer science training. The Murphy budget represents opportunity for employment training, healthcare, and reentry services for those leaving prison and jail. The Latino community and pastors are grateful to the Governor for his leadership and courage in ensuring that the promise of the American Dream is alive, vibrant, and dynamic.”

Mayor Frank Caramagna, Elmwood Park
"The Governor has enacted a fair and responsible budget that allows residents across the state the ability to move forward. I look forward to partnering with the Governor's efforts and ensure that as a state we are able to get back on track."

Mayor Kurt Peluso, Borough of Fair Lawn
"It was great to hear that the Governor is going to continue to assist communities with more state aid. Fair Lawn's school district is in need of more financial support and the Governor's budget will greatly assist our students."