Attention All CWA Members:
We are not surprised that the State Senate and the State Assembly just passed a budget without a Millionaires’ Tax, and that relies upon some fuzzy math, and that protected Opioid manufacturers, Walmart, and Gun manufacturers. We knew it was coming and it is disappointing.
But to add a blow, these august bodies also overwhelmingly voted to extend Economic Development Authority legislation (NJ Grow) that was originally passed under Chris Christie and that the State Comptroller AND an independent commission found produced hundreds of millions of dollars in possibly fraudulent tax incentives in a process that the Governor has called “rigged.”
The Commission has issued a report provides DOCUMENTARY evidence of fraudulent applications. Hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongly provided tax incentives have ALREADY been recovered or frozen. Passing this extension was a disgraceful surrender to cynical crony capitalism. CWA was out in force to witness this demoralizing event – and possibly most disgusting is the fact that most of these legislators haven’t read the bill they are voting on and they haven’t read the report.
There is some good news. Governor Phil Murphy said at a press conference with CWA and other union leaders on Thursday that he is still fully committed to tax fairness, and fully committed to reigning in the corporate incentives legislation that has led to fraudulent and self-dealing activity among New Jersey’s political bosses.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
The Governor and Legislative Leadership will now try to negotiate a final budget before midnight on June 30 to avoid a state shutdown. CWA will continue to work to persuade legislators that we need sustainable new revenues to rebuild after Chris Christie; and that millionaires should pay their fair share. We need members to be fully engaged in the effort to contact and pressure their legislators to pass a fair budget.
But today’s legislative votes mean there is an increasing chance that no deal will be struck by June 30. So we will prepare for a Lockout of our members. We don’t know if that will be the end result of this reprehensible budget season – but we will prepare as if it is.
State workers Shop Stewards who represent non-essential workers who could be locked out, will be coming to a Shop Steward training session on Monday. Once the full plan is worked out with Shop Stewards and as we get a little closer to the June 30 deadline, we will have a Tele-Town Hall call to advise all of our members what is happening next.
In the meantime – stay CWA Strong!