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Top New Jersey Republican says showdown likely over governor’s spending plan

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says he expects a showdown over Gov. Phil Murphy's spending plan and proposal to hike taxes. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says he expects a showdown over Gov. Phil Murphy's spending plan and proposal to hike taxes. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The top Republican in New Jersey’s Assembly is calling Gov. Phil Murphy’s agenda “extreme and scary.” He’s anticipating a legislative showdown over the governor’s budget plan.

Murphy’s plan to boost spending by 8 percent while hiking taxes $1.6 billion is a threat to New Jersey’s economic vitality, said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.

“He is totally disconnected, not only with us as Republican … I believe he’s totally disconnected with Democrats as well and surely disconnected with the taxpayers,” said Bramnick.

Democratic leaders in the Legislature are also resisting Murphy’s proposed tax increases to fund new programs including a proposed phase-in of free community college.

Bramnick does not believe Murphy’s agenda has much public support.

“Some of his social issues do. But that’s not going to carry the day in this state because we know from all the polling that the pocketbook issues are always the most important,” Bramnick said. “That’s what some prior administrations on the Democratic side made them one term. He’s following the same playbook to an extreme,” he said.

Constituents are telling Bramnick that, because of the governor’s spending and tax proposals, they’re giving up hope of having the state be more affordable. 

 “I am getting from constituents the type of reaction such as, ‘Is he crazy? Does he not know where we are in the state?  Does he understand that I’m leaving the state?’ ” he said. “People are starting to give up based on the extreme policies of this governor.”

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