Oliver Defends Murphy’s Flat Funding for Municipalities and His Raid on Housing Aid

Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget doesn’t increase state aid for municipalities, which would help offset property taxes, and it continues to raid funds that are earmarked for affordable housing. But Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver told lawmakers yesterday the Murphy administration will look for other ways to help local leaders, including by doing more to encourage shared services and smart planning.

Oliver, who is leading the state’s Department of Community Affairs along with serving as lieutenant governor, suggested fiscal challenges inherited by the Murphy administration are so steep that there’s simply not enough money left over to boost municipal aid during the 2019 fiscal year.

She also cited budget problems while defending Murphy’s decision to raid nearly $80 million that’s supposed to go to specific affordable-housing programs and to use it for other purposes. The diversion, which contradicts a campaign promise Murphy made last year, was first reported by NJ Spotlight last week.

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