On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy announced the revised FY 2021 state budget. The spending plan is a comprehensive strategy consistent with the Administration’s vision to create a “stronger and fairer” New Jersey. This will be accomplished in large part by allocating revenues to assist communities most in need. The $32.4 billion plan places particular emphasis on the concerns affecting citizens across the state including, job creation, unemployment relief, property tax school aid, mental health services, rental relief, protection from rental expulsion and small businesses financial assistance. The proposed budget is an investment in the future of New Jersey; despite COVID-19, it provides a future ripe with opportunity.
Governor Murphy must be commended for his unparalleled leadership during these difficult times. Praise must also be given to the Governor’s Administration, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin for their commitment to the people of New Jersey. In the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is absolutely crucial to ensure the long term health of our communities. It is not enough to focus on merely weathering this crisis. As Governor Murphy stated, we must work to exit this pandemic crisis stronger than when we entered. Prior to the crisis, difficult realities such as racial and ethnic disparities in health care, education, and criminal justice, while systemic, were largely ignored. These shortcomings badly needed to be addressed. The pandemic has forced our attention on these challenges. Our Latino community is disproportionately affected by the virus and its economic ramifications. Now is the time to breathe life back into our community and build a “stronger and fairer” New Jersey for our children and our families. This budget is a first step toward that goal.