New Jersey Supreme Court To Rule On Law Authorizing $10B In Debt

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s Supreme Court is scheduled to issue an opinion Wednesday on whether a new state law letting the governor borrow nearly $10 billion to shore up the budget can stand. The law passed the Democrat-led Legislature and was signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy after he sought the authority to borrow, citing pending budget gaps brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Republican Party and a GOP gubernatorial candidate vying to take on Murphy next year immediately filed suit to try to stop the authorization.

They argue that the proceeds from bonds authorized under the law cannot count as revenues under the constitution. But the Murphy administration disagreed, arguing the coronavirus emergency makes the borrowing necessary.

Murphy has said the state’s finances took a major hit because of the virus. He has estimated that tax revenue through June 2021 will be down about $10 billion.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.