Governor Murphy, GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS
Bloomberg: Murphy to Beg, Borrow With Pledge of Billions for N.J. Pensions
By Elise Young & David Voreacos
In the aftermath of the new coronavirus, New Jersey’s finances have been a blur of uncertainty, save for Governor Phil Murphy’s commitment to make record payments to the state’s 800,000-member public pension system.
Beyond that, Murphy is counting on an undisclosed amount of borrowing and cash from the federal government to make up for $10.1 billion in lost revenue. Any spending adjustments or tax increases will be disclosed Friday, the deadline for his treasurer to present revised spending plans to the legislature.
“It’s not pretty,” Murphy said on Thursday of the updated budget, without being specific. “That’s the reason we have to borrow money, unfortunately. It’s also the reason we need direct federal cash assistance.”
Murphy’s commitment to a $3.8 billion payment this fiscal year to the pension fund, the worst-funded among U.S. state governments, puts him on track to be the first New Jersey governor since the mid-1990s to make all promised contributions. It also has him depending partly on long-term borrowing to fill budget gaps in a state that has a constitutional ban on such maneuvers.
Read the full report here.