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N.J. Budget Fight Brewing After Murphy Grabbed Power to Spend $3 Billion in Federal COVID Relief Fun

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

May 8, 2022 |

New Jersey lawmakers have less than eight weeks to negotiate a state budget, and one glaring question lingers: Will Gov. Phil Murphy give the state Legislature a say in spending billions in federal coronavirus relief money?

Murphy and lawmakers agreed last year that the Legislature’s Joint Budget Oversight Committee would have to approve the use of those funds. It was included in language in the bill for the current state budget, which expires June 30.

However, that language is absent from Murphy’s new spending proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1, effectively removing the Legislature’s oversight.

NJ SEED: As previously noted, it’s not generally a good idea for governors to pick fights with a legislature – a coequal branch of government. Even when controlled by the governor’s political party, legislatures can be very sensitive to infringement on their powers.

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