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)
- Is he proud of the historic lack of transparency with this budget?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- Does he think all the pork and the enormous surplus in this budget undermine his credibility when he asks for federal funding?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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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