New Budget Season Brings New Tone to Trenton

NJTV News | March 7, 2019 | Politics
They differ on a proposed millionaire’s tax, but Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders appear to be working on being agreeable even if they disagree

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, budget negotiations between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic leaders in the Legislature were rancorous. On Wednesday, a day after the governor gave his second-ever budget address, the atmosphere was markedly improved.

“We did lay this out with both sides of the aisle before we went public with this budget yesterday. I had a good breakfast with the Senate president and the Assembly speaker yesterday, just the three of us. We’re not going to agree on everything, but we’ve been able to find common ground on a lot of stuff,” Murphy said. And in his budget address, the governor notably showed deference to Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.

Sweeney told NJTV News Wednesday, “We’re partners, the governor, the speaker and I. The governor brought a new attitude to the table, and we appreciate it.”

They’ll still clash over the millionaire’s tax proposal, but this year the governor, the Senate president and the Assembly speaker seem to be working in an entirely different atmosphere.

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