Fiscally Responsible Plan includes a Record Pension Payment, Sizable Surplus, Substantial Debt Reduction, and Long-Term Economic Investments

Budget Makes New Jersey More Affordable by Delivering Historic Levels of School Funding, Substantial Tax Relief, and Aid to Small Businesses 

Governor Phil Murphy signed the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022) Appropriations Act into law today, working in partnership with the Legislature to develop a responsible and bold budget that meets the State’s current and future obligations, makes New Jersey more affordable for working and middle-class families, provides record investments in education, supports an inclusive pandemic recovery, and invests in small businesses and long-term economic growth.

“This year’s budget represents the culmination of a four-year journey to fix many longstanding problems in New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “This is a budget that invests in our middle-class and working families – supporting both those building their families and careers and those who are living out their richly-deserved retirements. It also puts a world-class education within reach for all while tackling our age-old property tax problem – ensuring a stronger, fairer, and healthier future for the generation born and reared in the shadow of an unprecedented pandemic.”

“Together, we are providing broad and equitable pre-K through higher education opportunities for more of our students, making sure every child in New Jersey has health care, delivering substantial tax relief to working and middle-class families, investing real dollars to make the dream of homeownership an affordable reality, helping seniors remain in their communities long into their golden years, and providing hundreds of millions in relief for small businesses,” continued Governor Murphy. “This budget also places a premium on fiscal responsibility – making good on our promise to public employees by providing above and beyond the full pension payment for the first time in a quarter of a century, responsibly setting aside funds to repay debt, and making New Jersey more resilient to weather future health emergencies.”

The Governor was joined by Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Coughlin, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, State Treasurer Muoio, Senate Budget Chair Sarlo, Assembly Budget Chair Pintor Marin, and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac at Ross Street School #11 in Woodbridge where he signed the Appropriations Act to highlight its unprecedented investment in public education. As promised, Governor Murphy reversed years of chronic underfunding of public education, increasing direct pre-K through grade 12 spending statewide by nearly $1.5 billion over the last four years and putting New Jersey on the path to fully funding the school funding formula that has been upheld as constitutional.

The FY 2022 budget increases formula aid by nearly $750 million and Woodbridge is one of hundreds of school districts that have benefitted from the Governor’s multi-year increase in funding. The district will receive $18 million in additional school funding next year through this budget, more than twice what it was in FY 2018. The budget also invests an additional $50 million in pre-K, including $26 million for new programs, and provides an additional $125 million for Extraordinary Special Education Aid, a priority of the Senate President.

“This fiscal year budget shows our shared values of dignity and respect for human life in the face of adversity and collective commitment to making New Jersey the best place to live, work, be educated, and retire in the nation,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “We are paying down the state’s long-ignored obligations while continuing to focus on building a strong middle class and robust economy that everyone can participate in and benefit from. Together with the Legislature, we’ve achieved what they said was unachievable.”

“This budget ensures that every resident will have the opportunity to rebound from the pandemic and benefit from the many opportunities that New Jersey offers. The investments are immediate and important, including direct assistance to working families, rebates for homeowners, as well as rental and utility assistance for those struggling most,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “So during this process we fought to ensure that this budget included a wide range of vital investments. For those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we boost the state’s share of funding extraordinary special education and we fund an extra year of special education for those who lost a year to the pandemic. We are investing $450 million that will improve our health care readiness in years to come. And for higher education, we restore fairness in aid, by setting a floor for funding of public colleges and universities. As we move beyond COVID-19, we can be confident that this spending plan will strengthen New Jersey and lift up those in need over the months and years ahead.”

“I’m proud of the work done in partnership with the Governor and Senate President to produce a fair and responsible budget that looks toward greater economic vitality and growth that will benefit every New Jerseyan,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “Thanks to $5 billion in unanticipated revenues, this budget builds beyond the priorities we initially set out to achieve. Our spending supports the best public school education system in the country, puts forth nine meaningful new and expanded tax relief programs for working families, seniors and college students, and fulfills our full pension obligation for the first time in 25 years. With a record $6.9 billion toward pensions, over $100 million in new college savings, boosts to school aid by over $650 million, $10 million for anti-hunger efforts, and up to $500 rebates for 760,000 hardworking families, these are not just line items. These are life-changing contributions that put money back in people’s pockets, keep property taxes in check, and protect those left vulnerable by the pandemic. Expanding on our commitments to put New Jersey on a stronger fiscal footing, in this budget we’ve also taken big steps toward major debt payoff with $3.7 billion locked-up for defeasance and lower cost long-term borrowing. Infrastructural capital investment projects as supported by this budget will move us forward on clean energy, safer drinking water, and healthcare access for safer, more equal communities. Together our budget forms an incredibly comprehensive and strategic spending plan for New Jersey, and we did it without any new taxes or fees.”

“This budget presented us with an extraordinary and somewhat unprecedented opportunity to reimagine wh