POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Budget compromise at the 11th hour averts shutdown

A budget deal has been reached between Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislative leaders to avoid the looming state government shutdown Saturday evening. The three key players needed for striking a state budget deal met for hours behind closed doors. There was a compromise on the chief points of contention on how to raise revenue for a balanced budget: raise the corporate business tax to sunset after a 4-year period and a millionaire’s tax for individuals making more than $5 million a year. The attempt to raise the sales tax was abandoned by Murphy and he credited the recent Supreme Court decision of internet sales revenue to help bridge the gap. The Assembly and Senate will meet again Sunday.

A shutdown would have resulted in a myriad of closures including state parks and beaches, the Motor Vehicle Commission and inspection stations, state courts, and pensions and benefits offices. Murphy and legislative leaders have been kicking around ways to fill the revenue gap since March when the governor’s initial budget was first introduced. Had there been no budget deal, it would have been the third government shutdown in New Jersey’s history.