NJ Politics Digest: Legislature Moving Ahead With Incentive Plan Murphy Vows to Veto

Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy. Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images

The state legislature on Thursday began moving forward with a plan to extend the state’s tax incentive program for businesses even though Gov. Phil Murphy has vowed to veto it unless changes are made.

As Politico reports, the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee both approved extending the programs from July 1 to Jan. 30, 2020.
The incentive program is the latest flashpoint between Murphy and fellow Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney wants to extend the existing incentive program, while Murphy wants big changes to the system. Meanwhile, business groups are warning that allowing the program to lapse will damage the state’s competitiveness and discourage companies from settling here.

For Murphy, reforming the incentives program is not only a matter of policy. The program is seen as largely benefiting Sweeney’s allies, giving Murphy a cudgel to use in his ongoing fight with the senate president.

An investigation by the state comptroller, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, resulted in a report highly critical of the state Economic Development Authority and how it has handled the incentive program.

Quote of the Day: “The swearing in isn’t until the 21st of January 2021. You never know what might happen between now and then,” — Sen. Cory Booker on the possibility of being the first unmarried person in several decades to be elected president. Booker is currently involved with actress Rosario Dawson.

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NJ Politics Digest: Legislature Moving Ahead With Incentive Plan Murphy Vows to Veto