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Rushing to meet the state constitution’s July 1 deadline, two legislative budget committees advanced a $54.3 billion state budget late Wednesday night so that the Assembly and Senate can vote on the spending plan Friday and send it to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature.

The Legislature’s budget bill totals $1.2 billion more than the FY24 spending plan Murphy proposed earlier this year and is 7.3% higher than the current state budget. The Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee separately advanced the legislation, A-5669/S-2024, in separate party-line votes that wrapped up about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Under the budget plan, the sunset of the temporary 2.5% CBT surcharge on the Corporation Business Tax will move forward as scheduled on Dec. 31, allowing New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation 11.5% CBT rate to return to 9%. The budget fully covers obligations to public worker pension funds, increases aid to public schools, and maintains healthy  budget surplus as protection against an economic downturn.

The budget also provides $2 billion that Murphy sought to continue and fully fund the ANCHOR property tax relief program, which is only for residential homeowners and renters.

Separate legislation, A-5673/S-3980, appropriates $371 million for the New Jersey Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund, which is used to retire bonded debt and fund capital projects on a pay-as-you-go basis to avoid the need for further state borrowing.

The committees also passed bills A-1 and S-1 which appropriate $300 million toward a new StayNJ property tax credit program for senior citizens that would start in 2026.

Once the Legislature gives final passage to the state budget, Murphy can sign it in its current form, veto it, return it to the Legislature with suggested changes in a conditional veto, or use his line-item veto power to reduce specific appropriations contained in the plan before signing it.

The FY24 budget must be signed into law by July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.