NEW JERSEY – Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) said he’s glad a ruling Wednesday by the New Jersey Supreme Court set limits on the Murphy administration’s ability to borrow funds to address budget shortfalls related to COVID-19.
“While I’m disappointed the Supreme Court didn’t shut down the administration’s irresponsible borrowing scheme completely, I’m glad some guardrails have been set that will limit the damage,” said Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “Based on the limitations imposed by the ruling, it’s unlikely the governor will be able to borrow the full $9.9 billion he initially sought. A reduction of a few billion dollars in bonding would save New Jersey taxpayers many billions more in repayments in future years.”
The Supreme Court ruled that the administration will be required to certify revenues prior to each instance of borrowing, and will not be able to borrow more than is necessary to replace revenue shortfalls attributable to COVID-19, Oroho said.
“We know the $10 billion revenue shortfall that the administration predicted months ago hasn’t materialized,” Oroho said. “It’s likely we’ll learn that revenues have far exceeded expectations when the administration provides an update on sales, income, and business tax collections. Based on today’s court ruling, each extra dollar of unanticipated revenue we collect will cut a dollar from the administration’s ability to borrow.”
Oroho said it’s imperative that a four member legislative committee created by the legislation that authorized the borrowing do its job of carefully vetting each borrowing request. The majority party holds all of the seats on the panel that must approve the administration’s borrowing proposals.
“Everyone’s forgetting that the administration can’t borrow a single penny unless this special legislative committee approves its requests,” Oroho said. “The Democrats who assigned themselves to sit on this panel should hold the governor’s feet to the fire and make him account for each and every dollar of borrowing he proposes.”