Our budget: Three Irishmen enter a bar and they …..

A budget bill (A4200/S2019) passed last night in the Legislature, but it is going nowhere. It passed, but only barely. The Senate lacked enough Democratic votes and had to rely on two Republicans (Bateman and Corrado) to seal the deal. In the Assembly where there are 52 Democrats and 28 Republicans, the bill passed with Yes {46}  No {28} Not Voting {5}. The latter group included 4 Democrats. For the Roll Call of votes in each chamber go here and under “Bill Search” enter S2019. To read the complete bill go here. To read a 2-pagew summary go here.

(Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media)

14 Democrats either voted no or “not voting.” Such lack of support bodes ill for the proposal which Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin touted. With Governor Murphy threatening to veto it, where is the 2/3 vote necessary to override the veto? Almost all Republicans voted against the bill, they probably dislike the fact that it authorizes even higher expenditures than Murphy’s budget, they tend to dislike increasing taxes on corporations, and they would be hypocritical if they suddenly voted to override the veto.

Murphy has the option of signing the bill which in the past he has said he will not do, providing a conditional veto, or providing an absolute veto. He can remove numbers and language from the Legislature’s proposed budget, but he cannot add anything, such as the different tax mechanisms he espouses, without a re-write of the bill. Hence at an impasse, without an agreement, much of State government could shutdown on July 1. 

Thursday afternoon before the Legislature passed the Budget, Murphy answered questions from the press. In an article titled “New Jersey lawmakers pass doomed budget after talks fall apart again,” Murphy is quoted saying, “It’s not over yet, I’m not going to stop working. I’m not going to stop trying.”

Sen. Weinberg said, “I think if there were about two or three seasoned, mature women in that room, I know things would come out differently … I’m only kidding. Those tall Irish guys did a really nice job.” Perhaps, just as aptly we might think of the joke which could begin with: “Three Irishmen walk into a bar and they ….. argue incessantly.” The time for arguments is over, and this bill must be changed.

( preview picture above of Governor Murphy from AP.)

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