New Jersey's 1st Legislative District

Senator Michael Testa

Senator Michael Testa

Testa: 10 Questions for Gov. Murphy at Budget Bill Signing Today

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Senator Michael Testa (R-1), a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, offered ten questions that should be asked of Governor Phil Murphy at his budget bill signing press conference today:

Sen. Michael Testa offered ten questions that should be asked of Gov. Phil Murphy at his budget bill signing press conference. (Pixabay)

  1. Is he proud of the historic lack of transparency with this budget?
  2. Is he proud that borrowed funds are going to be left unused and parked in a surplus to prop up his election-year budget next summer?
  3. Is he proud that the income tax and corporate business tax are retroactive to January 1, but the rebate is only a hazy promise for a future budget that isn’t funded at all this year?
  4. Is he proud that this budget during a fiscal crisis includes funding for parochial golf courses and recreation projects and a host of items that have nothing to do with State government operations or COVID-19 response?
  5. Does he think all the pork and the enormous surplus in this budget undermine his credibility when he asks for federal funding?
  6. What changed from the spring when the Governor claimed there was a $20-30 billion budget hole, to August when the Governor argued there was a $10 billion hole, to today when the Governor is signing a budget that claims a $4.5 billion budget hole that will be filled with borrowing?
  7. Are the 25% increase in the gas tax, 30% toll increases, and the payroll tax — all enacted after the start of this year — progressive or regressive?
  8. Is he concerned that his tax increase on corporations is poorly timed and inadvisable in light of the OLS forecast of a $900 million business tax increase that will be triggered as of July 1, 2021 to replenish the insolvent Unemployment Insurance Fund?
  9. Does he think it is fair that State employees are getting 4% salary increases in this budget while more than 1 million New Jerseyans are on unemployment and businesses continue to shut down due to the unnecessary restrictions imposed by his executive orders?
  10. How do the budget cuts to school funding in Toms River, Brick, and more than 100 school districts square with his claims that school funding is “flat-funded” and a letter he repeatedly touts from economists arguing budget cuts were incredibly inappropriate during a crisis like this?  Are the increases of up to 14% for other school districts sustainable?

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