Middlesex County News

Gov. Murphy Still Wants Millionaire Tax, Won’t Say When He'll Sign Sports Betting, Weed Bills

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Gov. Phil Murphy speaking during a press conference at the John J Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Credits: Tom Haydon
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NEW BRUNSWICK - With a showdown on the state budget 22 days away, Gov. Phil Murphy today re-emphasized his call for a tax on the state’s wealthiest households and said he hopes avoid shutdown of state government.

“Do I still want a millionaire’s tax? The answer is ‘yes,’ “ Murphy said at a press conference at the John J Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Fielding reporters questions on several topics, Murphy refused to say when he would sign a bill that the state legislature passed Thursday approving sports betting in the state.

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Reminded of the current major weekend in sports, with the Yankees and Mets Major League Baseball teams in a subway series and the final leg in horsing racing’s triple on Saturday, Murphy refused to give a timeline for signing the bill.

“I think the key is doing it right,” Murphy said. “We’re not sitting (the bill), but I’m not going to change my stripes because it’s a big sports weekend,” he said. “I want sports betting. I want to make the first bet.”

Murphy spoke to reporters after addressing a conference sponsored by the Apprenticeship Forward Collaboration, a network of regional and national organization seeking expansion of apprenticeships in the country.

At the conference in the Heldrich Center, the Governor announced details of his proposed New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, including creation of an office for the network in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and focusing on the sectors of clean energy, advance manufacturing, health care and IT and software.

Murphy’s first proposed state budget includes $10 million for the network.

At the press conference, the Governor acknowledged the current battle with the legislature over the proposed budget, but said he is hopeful it can be settled before the June 30 deadline so a shutdown of the state can be avoid.

Murphy has proposed a tax on the state’s millionaires and proposed and reverting the state sales 6.625 percent to 7 percent to fully fund schools.

State Senate President Steven Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has introduced his own school funding plan and said he will shut down the government if a plan to fully fund schools in not in place.

Murphy, who earlier this month ordered all state departments to make contingence plans in the event of shut down, said Friday that he wants a budget that is responsible and takes the burden off the middle class.

When asked about bills introduced in the legislature on Thursday to expand the use of medical marijuana and legalize recreational use of drug, Murphy outlined concerns about suddenly permitting a uses of the drug for which people can currently being arrested and charged with a crime.

“We can’t accept a change that would make it legal for somebody to do something on a Monday that was illegal to do the previous Friday,” he said.

 

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