Volume 9/Issue 13

  • Legislature Sends Budget to Governor...Without New Tax on Millionaires
  • EDA Tax Incentive Programs Get Short Term Legislative Extension
  • Medical Marijuana Legislation Heads to Governor's Desk
  • Senator Scutari and Assemblywoman Downey's Legislation to Prevent Drunk Driving Passes

 

Legislature Sends Budget to Governor…Without New Tax on Millionaires

Last week, the Legislature overwhelmingly passed a $38.8 billion budget that includes hundreds of millions of dollars of new spending but does not include new tax revenue, including the Governor’s call for a tax on millionaires. The budget does add $388 million in spending proposed by the Governor in March, as well as an additional $50 million for New Jersey Transit, $100 million for legislative priorities, $173 million for property tax relief programs, and $65 million to support wage increases for child care and health aides. The Governor’s proposed revenue sources including an increased tax rate on those earning between $1 million and $5 million, increased fees on opioid manufacturers and gun owners, and a new tax on HMOs. The budget approved by the Legislature also does not include a deposit in the state’s rainy day fund, however, it does not maintain a $1.4 billion surplus – the largest in more than a decade.

Governor Murphy has continued to push for an increased tax on millionaires, however, his office indicated the Governor plans to enact the budget before the deadline, though the possibility of a line-item veto of certain provisions remains on the table. A press conference with Governor Murphy is scheduled on Sunday, June 30th at 2pm.

EDA Tax Incentive Programs Get Short Term Legislative Extension

The Legislature approved a bill to temporarily extend two of New Jersey’s tax incentive programs, which are set to expire on July 1, 2019. The bill would extend the programs for seven months to January 30, 2020. Governor Murphy has already said he will veto the bill, and the Legislature may attempt to override the Governor’s veto. The Governor, citing recent audits and reports of potential fraud in the programs, wants a major overhaul of the incentive programs, including setting an annual cap on how much can be awarded

Medical Marijuana Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk

A bill that would dramatically improve how medical marijuana is prescribed, consumed, and regulated in New Jersey was approved by the Legislature last week and is on the Governor’s desk for consideration. The legislation would shift control of the medical marijuana program from the Department of Health to an independent Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Additionally, it increases the amount of cannabis a patient can obtain and expands the list of medical professionals who can authorize its use. Under Governor Murphy, the medical marijuana program has significantly expanded the patients and treatments that are served, and this legislation is generally viewed as a positive step forward.

Senator Scutari and Assemblywoman Downey’s Legislation to Prevent Drunk Driving Passes

Last week, the Legislature passed a bill that would replace mandatory license suspension for first time DUI offenders with mandatory use of ignition interlock devices for certain first-time offenders. Research has shown that ignition interlocks are more effective than license suspension in preventing drunk driving deaths and that many individuals continue to drive with suspended licenses. This legislation was the top legislative priority for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and River Crossing Strategy Group was proud to have lobbied to send this major public safety legislation to the Governor’s desk.