On March 13, Gov. Murphy delivered first budget address to a joint session of the legislature, giving the state its first good idea of his priorities now that he is in office. From now until July 1, the legislature will be focused on passing a budget built on the foundation Murphy laid.



The Governor’s plan calls for $37.4 billion in State appropriations, a $2.7 billion increase over FY2018, which makes this the largest state budget in New Jersey history. The increase in spending is to be funded by economic growth and $1.7 billion in new tax revenue. Murphy recommends increasing the sales tax to 7%, implementing a millionaires’ tax, and legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana.


The judicial branch would get $10 million less than last year under the Governor’s plan. This will undoubtedly cause some handwringing and perhaps lead to increased filing fees as the courts struggle to pay for bail reform and the move to electronic filing.


Although there is already a lot of disagreement over Murphy’s proposed budget, there is a wide-spread, bi-partisan recognition that it’s time to make some changes that will rev up New Jersey’s economic engine, and foster a “stronger and fairer” economy. Some thoughtful tweaks to our legal system could improve our state’s legal reputation, and stimulate economic growth without raising taxes or increasing spending.


Additional Resources

FY2019 Budget in Brief from the Office of Management and Budget

Governor Murphy’s Press Release

Full Text of Governor Murphy’s Speech


Murphy Proposes ‘Fiscally and Morally’ Balanced Budget, with $1.7B in New Tax Revenue

Ryan Hutchins | Politico New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday proposed the largest state budget in history, saying he’ll deliver on his liberal agenda by raising $1.7 billion in new tax revenue, primarily by rolling back a small cut in the state sales tax, generating new revenue off the backs of millionaires and legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana.

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How Phil Murphy’s Budget Proves You Elected a Liberal Governor

Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

You can call it the very model of a modern progressive budget. From tax hikes on New Jersey’s wealthiest to tax credits for the working poor and legalization of marijuana, Gov. Phil Murphy’s first state budget proposal leaves virtually no progressive stone unturned.

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Business Community has Concerns About Murphy Budget

Anjalee Khemlani | ROI

While some attendees walked away tight-lipped from the governor’s first budget address, others were optimistic that Gov. Phil Murphy has taken a step in the right direction for the state. The tax-heavy budget plan for fiscal year 2019 is a $2.7 billion increase from the previous year and includes some initiatives that could shock the economic system in the state.

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