New Jersey Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
Governor Murphy signed New Jersey’s Budget for FY2020. The NJ Work Environment Council (WEC) is, for the most part, proud of the progressive, pro-worker, pro-community investments this budget makes. Increased funding into schools and special education programs, including $250 million into special education, $457.5 million into transit, $70 million towards clean energy, $3.8 billion into the public employee pension system and a $401 million deposit into our state’s rainy day fund are all a breath of fresh air in a state previously starved by austerity economics.
The Governor also should be commended for signing Executive Order No. 73 directing the Treasury to place up to $235 million in discretionary spending into reserve. It will be monitored by the Treasury and released only if during the course of the fiscal year, sufficient revenues and assumed savings materialize. This is sound fiscal stewardship.
However, the FY2020 budget falls short of our goal in supporting safe, secure jobs and a healthy sustainable budget in several ways. The Legislature made it clear raising revenue and creating a progressive tax structure was not a priority, failing to tax opiate manufacturers and the extremely wealthy.
And while the budget is leaps and bounds beyond what we’ve seen under previous administrations, it still falls short. We are disappointed raids on dedicated funding sources continue to fund the general budget in order to balance it. That’s why we are so disappointed the Legislature would not consider a millionaires tax and other revenue generating methods to solve this issue.
The Work Environment Council will continue educating, organizing, and mobilizing New Jerseyans to fight for an equitable economy, healthy schools, a clean environment and safe workplaces. Ultimately, it is up to all of us, not insiders in Trenton, to build a better Garden State.