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The Latest: Sweeney criticizes Murphy over NJ’s tax burden

June 30, 2019

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on New Jersey’s budget (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney returned Gov. Phil Murphy’s criticism over the just-enacted $38.7 billion budget and suggested he wouldn’t be satisfied until the state has the highest tax burden in the country.

Sweeney and Murphy disagreed over whether to raise income taxes on people making more than $1 million a year in the budget that Murphy signed on Sunday.

Murphy wanted the rate raised, but Sweeney said he wouldn’t do it unless he gets reforms of the public worker retiree benefits system.

Murphy opposes those changes.

The first-term governor signed the Democrat-led Legislature’s budget just before a constitutional deadline. He also line-item vetoed out $48.5 million in spending.

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2:18 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a $38.7 billion budget that boosts education, public pension and transit spending and also keeps state beaches and parks open as the July 4 holiday approaches.

Murphy, a Democrat, also used his line-item veto to slash $48.5 million from the Democrat-led Legislature’s budget. He coupled that with an executive order to hold as much as $235 million in spending in reserve until projected savings are realized or revenues meet expectations.

Murphy acted on the budget, roughly 3% above the previous year’s, on Sunday, hours ahead of a constitutional deadline.

Lawmakers turned down Murphy’s request for a higher income tax on people making $1 million or more but added $50 million more for New Jersey Transit, among other programs.

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