With the programs he prioritized in his 2022 State Budget Address, Gov. Phil Murphy is putting the well-being of New Jersey’s working families first and foremost.
“By emphasizing tax fairness and investment in education and infrastructure in this budget proposal, Governor Murphy clearly aims to lighten the burden on hard-hit families while helping to bring back jobs and financial security,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said. “After a year of unprecedented hardship and job loss due to the pandemic, the governor has taken a wise path toward reopening New Jersey with good-paying jobs for today and the future.”
Enhanced state aid to school districts means local property taxes can remain stable. The governor’s proposed state aid, coupled with ongoing federal funding, will allow local school districts to make the physical changes they need to reopen safely. The aid to school districts also will bolster teacher training and deal with the digital divide, learning losses and mental stress on students, teachers and families during a year of extended remote and hybrid classes.
New Jerseyans will benefit from an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, providing $320 million in direct payments to working families. And families making up to $150,000 will be able to claim the child and dependent care tax credit, making it possible for some parents to return to work.
Funding for infrastructure and rehabilitation projects such as the Portal North and Raritan River bridges, the Walter Rand Transportation Center, Newark Penn Station, local rail stations and other projects is an investment for the future and a source of good union construction jobs.
NJ Transit will reach its full complement of 390 train engineers. And by continuing New Jersey’s investment in transportation, Governor Murphy is ensuring that frontline essential workers in all sectors of labor who rely on public transit will get to work safely and on time.
Replacing the antiquated computers at the Department of Labor will get unemployed workers the benefits they have earned and deserve more quickly.
The proposed 2022 budget also will fully fund New Jersey’s pension system for the first time since Fiscal 1996. This historic payment not only provides financial security for retirees, it also saves all Garden State taxpayers $861 million over coming years.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO commends Governor Murphy on this budget proposal and looks forward to working with him and the Legislature for its passage.