New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will be in Newark tonight for a town-hall style meeting to talk about his proposed $37.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 that begins July 1.
The event will be held at Newark Technical High School, 91 West Market Street, Newark. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a 6 p.m. start time. The event is free and open to the public. For security purposes, backpacks and large bags are not allowed in the building.
Murphy's budget calls for raising some $1.6 billion in new taxes, including restoring the sales tax to 7 percent from 6.625 percent, raising income taxes on millionaires and levying a tax on recreational marijuana, which the legislature has not yet legalized yet. His budget also calls for expanding the sales tax to web-based ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber and home-sharing services like Airbnb.
In his budget address delivered to a joint session of the Legislature in March, Murphy said his proposal puts "New Jersey families ahead of the wealthy and special interests – and that recognizes that we cannot build a brighter future by acting timidly and thinking small."
Murphy said his budget proposal would start a four-year effort to fully fund the public schools under the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) formula. He said school district or charter school will receive less funding than they did last year while 94 of districts will receive additional funding.
Murphy's budget also calls for $57.6 million in new pre-K funding, the largest increase in over a decade, for a total investment of nearly $83 million, providing some additional 3,500 four-year olds access to pre-K.
The budget proposal would make community college tuition free beginning in the spring of 2019 for some 15,000 students from families with incomes below $45,000.
Murphy also called for a four-year phase-in to a $15 minimum wage, including an increase to $11 per hour in fiscal 2019. When fully phased-in, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will boost the incomes of 1.2 million New Jerseyans.
Before it is enacted, Murphy's budget must be approved by the state Legislature. State Senate President Steve Sweeney has already signaled a reluctance to raises the millionaires tax, while many lawmakers have expressed reservations about legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Additionally, Senate Democrats have expressed interest in revamping the state's educational funding formula.
The Legislature has until June 30 to send the governor a budget for his approval.
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