Scharfenberger & Flynn: Governor Should Focus on the “Current” New Jersey & Not the “Next”

March 1, 2023


Trenton, N.J. – Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger and Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn (Monmouth – R’s) offer the following joint statement in response to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s FY’24 State Budget Address:

“We agree wholeheartedly with the spirit of today’s budget address – we must be guided by principles of fiscal responsibility as leaders of this great State. However, the proposals included in the Governor’s speech will only exacerbate the financial nightmares facing New Jersey residents because of the property tax burden here at home as well as high inflation rates due to the reckless economic policies of the federal government. 

Today’s budget address ignores the pleas of our local leaders who are scrambling to address the astronomical increase with health care costs in their upcoming budgets. The Governor’s failure to assist local government entities with the unanticipated increase in health care costs leave local school boards and municipalities to pass those costs onto residents by way of increases in taxes and reducing budgets to the bare minimum for services for their residents. That’s not a fairer New Jersey. 

To address the flight from New Jersey by residents who seek to reside in States that have a more friendly tax code, the Governor proposed a tax credit for senior citizens that will help them stay in their homes. Despite dedicating $2.5 billion in new costs for this proposal, it does not address the fact that it will still be cheaper for residents to seek refuge in other States from New Jersey’s crushing taxes. 

We are pleased the Governor included references in this budget to address learning loss among our students; yet, we are disheartened because the funding will not be available until next school year. We remained saddened that this State’s budgetary priorities are not laser focused on addressing learning loss, thus relegating an entire generation of kids to academic purgatory.

We therefore call on Governor Murphy to revisit his budget, removing needless spending and to work with us across the aisle to hear our plans. For instance, Minority Leader DiMaio has announced feasible a plan to address school funding, bringing with it substantial and sustainable relief.

Governor Murphy needs to stop worrying about the ‘Next New Jersey’ and concentrate on helping the current New Jersey before it is too late. Taxpayers are struggling, barely keeping their heads above water yet now must face a new $53+ billion spending spree weighing them down. 

We agree on one thing, a stronger economy builds a stronger New Jersey, but this budget falls short.” 

According to the information proposed by the Murphy Administration, his FY’24 Budget includes over $2.5 billion in new spending for a grand total of over $53 billion – a 53% increase since Governor Chris Christie’s last budget.