Where Murphy stands on campaign promises

Where Murphy stands on campaign promises

19 Haziran 2018 - 02:00

From legal marijuana to free community college to a higher minimum wage to tighter gun laws, Gov. Phil Murphy made a slew of (sometimes lofty) promises to New Jerseyans as he ran for governor last year. 

Now, the Democrat is five months into his tenure succeeding Republican Chris Christie. So how many vows has Murphy fulfilled? 

NJ Advance Media singled out 19 of Murphy's promises shortly after he was elected last November. Some of them could get hung up in dramatic negotiations over his first state budget proposal.

But here's a look at where he stands on those 19 vows — and one we missed last time:


1. Fully fund schools

Murphy vowed to fully fund the state's school funding formula, which could be $1 billion under its current parameters or $2 billion if you ignore a cap on the increases in aid districts can receive from year to year.

This is a tall order, considering the state already spends more $9 billion of its $37.4 billion on school aid. 

PROMISE KEPT? It’s a start. Murphy’s first proposed state budget, for the fiscal year that begins July 1, puts another $284 million into schools. 

He has faced heat from parents who want him to provide more money for underfunded schools.


2. Legalize marijuana

If you knew Phil Murphy for anything in last year's campaign, you knew this: He wanted to legalize recreational marijuana. 

He said it would not only boost tax revenue for the state, but, more importantly, help cut down on the arrest and conviction rates of minorities.

"If it doesn't pass the social justice test, you can't talk about revenue implications, and the fact of the matter is that we have the widest white-nonwhite gap of persons incarcerated in New Jersey," Murphy said.

PROMISE KEPT? Not yet. But it’s hardly his fault. Murphy maintains he will sign legislation to legalize pot when it hits his desk. He already has a plan to tax the sale of marijuana, and expects it will raise $49 million in revenue for the new budget year.

Legislation was just introduced in the Senate on June 7. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex signaled early on he had serious misgivings, and allowed Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, D-Somerset to hold public hearings.


3. Fully fund pensions

Murphy has said he wants to meet or beat Christie’s plan to fully fund government worker pensions. The state is currently contributing half of what’s recommended by actuaries. Under the plan Christie set in motion, the state should contribute 60 percent next year and continue increasing the contribution by one-tenth of what’s recommended by actuaries until reaching the full payment, more than $6 billion, in 2023.

“At a minimum, we’ll continue the progress that’s being made right now,” Murphy said. 

PROMISE KEPT? Like he said, he’s continuing on Christie’s path.

Murphy’s proposed budget includes $3.2 billion for pensions — about $700 million more than the state will contribute this year.


Kaynak:Nj.com

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