Business Report: Details on campaign spending, Senate Republicans want changes to Gov. Murphy’s budget plan

GOP lawmakers want to eliminate a planned tax increase on businesses

New numbers from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) on spending around this year’s legislative campaigns show spending by independent committees has centered on three contested districts — 20, 26 and 37. Eight committees reported activity in this year’s legislative campaigns. More than $1.7 million or 88% of their total spending has gone to those three districts. Meantime, ELEC says the Democrats, who control the Legislature, have raised and spent substantially more than Republicans. And incumbent lawmakers have raised nearly eight times more in campaign funds than challengers.

Once the election is over, it’s back to the business of finalizing a new state budget, and Senate Republicans are hoping some of their ideas gain support. Their recommended changes to the Murphy administration’s budget, formalized in a letter this week, include using federal COVID-19-related funds to eliminate a planned tax increase on businesses to replenish the unemployment trust fund. And they want to give commuters to New York a tax break, especially since many have been working from home.

Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) says the state’s division of taxation should address that immediately. Republican lawmakers also want to decrease spending by $300 million and set aside new revenues or savings to pay down, or avoid, billions of dollars in debt. Budget hearings resume Wednesday.

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