Key Republicans weigh in: Surprise, surprise, they don’t like the budget

The budget gave key Republican leaders plenty to criticize. A few of their thoughts:

  • Bob Hugin, chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee: “Democrats should feel ashamed of the complete chaos and ineptitude that produced the most irresponsible budget we have ever seen. The process — completely controlled by the Democratic leadership — was so shrouded in secrecy and incompetence that legislators did not even have an accurate copy to read during the committee vote. We now know that, in the dead of night, Democrats added over a billion dollars in spending for their own pet projects. Families here are already facing an affordability crisis at home and will now be further burdened by the Democrats’ out-of-control spending.”
  • State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Holmdel), the Republican budget officer: “Here we go again. I could almost give the same speech that I gave last year. Here is a huge budget with huge increases full of pork and passed out of committee in the dead of night, before anyone could read it.”

Outgoing Senate Republican Leader Steve Oroho (R-Sparta): “Gov. Murphy’s budget proposal for next year is 5% larger than this year’s budget, and it’s 50% bigger than the prior administration’s final budget. That’s a huge and unsustainable spending increase in just six years. We know that billions of that will likely be pork spending that should be redirected to tax relief.”

  • State Sen. Michael Testa (R-Vineland): “Any insinuation that Gov. Murphy is a tax cutter is laughable. He’s raised income, business and payroll taxes by billions of dollars since he took office. His school aid cuts to hundreds of rural and suburban school districts have driven property tax increases across New Jersey. He’s done nothing to stop automatic tax and toll increases or address tax bracket creep as Republicans have proposed.”
  • Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Denville): “This budget was … prepared behind closed doors. And when the budget was finally given at the end, nobody had a chance to read it.”

Many of the quotes for this story were aggregated from other news reports, including N.J. Advance Media, InsiderNJ and the Associated Press.