TRENTON, -- Gov. Phil Murphy said on Monday that "we need the federal government to step forward with significant investments in our states – both red & blue – to prevent our recovery from being held back because we cannot fund it."
"This is not about legacy fiscal issues. Nor is this a 'bailout'," Murphy says. "This is about keeping our police and firefighters, our EMTs and paramedics, and our public health workers, our educators, among many others, on the job and working to get us through this. A fiscal disaster is not months away – these decisions will be on our doorstep in just a few weeks. Congress needs to act, and act now."
To further address the ongoing fiscal disruption and uncertainties caused by COVID-19, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order No. 137, rescinding a previous Executive Order No. 73 (2019), requiring the Department of the Treasury to achieve a $1.276 billion surplus by the end of the current fiscal year.
“No one has been more committed to restoring our state's fiscal foundation than I have,” said Gov. Murphy. “We have spent the past two years working nonstop to build surpluses and put money aside for a rainy day fund. However, in the absence of significant federal assistance, we are on the brink of having to make very tough fiscal decisions, and a $1.28 billion surplus for this fiscal year is no longer realistic.”
Murphy said that his administration has made unprecedented pension contributions while working in partnership with public workers to reduce healthcare costs for two consecutive years.
"At the same time, we've made significant new investments in our schools, in direct property tax relief, in mass transit, and in any number of vital programs that serve millions of New Jerseyans each and every day," Gov. Murphy said. "But right now, it's pouring. We are on the brink of having to make very tough and quite frankly very unpalatable decisions regarding each of these areas."
“New Jersey is not alone in dealing with unprecedented budget challenges right now as this crisis continues to unfold,” added State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “Building our reserves to responsible new heights was one of our paramount fiscal goals. However, COVID-19 handed us an entirely new reality. Absent additional federal funding and a substantive borrowing facility, our foremost priority now is ensuring sufficient cash flow to meet this health crisis head on, while also meeting our basic obligations.”
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