Lawmakers vote along party lines to permit at least $5 billion in new debt to deal with economic fallout of pandemic
BY JOHN REITMEYER, NJSpotlight
Legislation that would give Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration the authority to borrow billions of dollars to help offset projected revenue losses brought on by the ongoing pandemic cleared the Assembly Thursday in a party-line vote.
Despite the victory for Murphy, the future of the borrowing proposal remains in question. The legislation that passed the Assembly has yet to be introduced in the Senate, whose powerful leader, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), has raised several concerns, including how the proposed borrowing could impact state taxes that many residents already consider too high.
The issue of taxes was also a hot topic in the Assembly even as the bill — which would permit at least $5 billion in new state debt to be issued — advanced by a 51-28 margin.