The top Republican in the State Senate is offering Gov. Phil Murphy a chilly reception as he returns from his two week vacation.
State Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho blasted the Murphy administration for its weak representation of Garden State farepayers and taxpayers following a published report detailing how New Jersey during negotiations wound up losing $850 million of federal transportation funds that went to New York that could have been used in the Garden State.
“It looks like the longer the Murphy administration negotiated with New York, the worse the deal kept getting for New Jersey,” said Oroho (R-24) in a press statement July 19.
Diverting from FTA Formula
Oroho’s anger stems from negotiations in regards to the division of $14.2 billion in federal pandemic relief funds earmarked for tri-state transportation needs. While New Jersey and Connecticut were ready to split the money using a standard formula from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that has been used previously to split regional transportation grants, New York balked.
Under the standard formula that every other state used when devying up COVID-19 transit funding, New Jersey should have received approximately $3.5 billion. Instead, New Jersey’s proposed share dropped continuously to the $2.6 billion that was accepted.
Loss at Jersey’s Expense
“If it wasn’t for the federal deadline to come to an agreement, Governor Murphy may have given away even more than the $850 million he ultimately surrendered to New York. It was a total failure,” snarked Oroho.
The Sussex County lawmaker pointed out that Connecticut, in contrast, did not give up anything in the deal and received exactly what it should have under the federal formula. It was only New Jersey that gave up money it should have gotten.
In November 2021 when the deal was announced, Oroho asked, “How did the Murphy administration get bowled over so badly by our neighbor across the Hudson?” Instead of refusing the premise of an outrageous proposal, the Murphy administration folded and agreed to give New York everything it wanted and more. NJ Transit farepayers and New Jersey taxpayers will suffer as a result.”
Time for NY to Pay Up
Oroho has repeatedly called for the Murphy administration to take a tougher stance with New York on financial matters, including its unfair taxation of New Jerseyans, which costs both the state and individual taxpayers billions of dollars annually.
“New York is like a circling shark that keeps biting chunks out of our finances, but instead of fighting back, the Murphy administration is chumming the waters through its weak representation of New Jersey to invite additional attacks,” added Oroho.
“Governor Murphy’s cumulative failures to stand up for the Garden State have cost us billions of dollars already. When will he finally grow a backbone with New York?”