Public Policy Alert

Governor Murphy Delivers Budget Address
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today delivered his third annual budget address to the New Jersey Legislature. His address lays out his Administration's budget priorities for 2021 and includes several policy priorities from previous budgets. The Governor has again proposed a tax on millionaires as well as a surcharge on certain companies with employees enrolled in the State's Medicaid program. The budget also includes a total proposed increase of $1.1 billion into the State's pension system -- $794 million in the proposed 2021 budget and $279 million in the current fiscal year.
Governor Murphy's budget proposal also looks to reduce the costs of state-paid health benefits by $174 million through "controlling the costs of health care delivery." The budget proposes to address "costly out-of-network providers" while improving health care transparency. Governor Murphy had previously announced the creation of an Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency to examine these concerns. The budget proposes expanding eligibility for existing prescription assistance programs for seniors and the disabled to allow for 21,000 new Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program enrollees.
The budget address also included several initiatives to ensure that New Jersey remains a top choice for businesses looking to grow and thrive, such as $20 million in proposed Department of Labor funding for the recently announced Jobs NJ program. In addition, the Governor announced that the State will create a Grants Management Office in Trenton as well as in Washington, DC, to help provide support to local governments in identifying and applying for federal grants and other federal funding.
Additionally, Governor Murphy echoed his ongoing support for the use of "targeted" tax incentives to ensure a strong and growing innovation economy in our State. BioNJ believes incentive programs can be an important tool in keeping New Jersey competitive in researching, developing and manufacturing the next generation of lifesaving cures. We continue to support efforts to reinvigorate the Garden State's tax incentive programs.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology is slated to receive a tripling of its current funding in the Governor's budget. The additional proposed funding will help the Commission further its efforts to maintain New Jersey's claim as the State of Innovation.
"BioNJ supports policies aimed at maintaining and growing New Jersey's life sciences sector while ensuring Patients have access to the treatments they need when they need them most," said BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart. "We look forward to working with Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and the New Jersey Legislature to ensure the fiscal year 2021 budget process concludes with policies that achieve these important goals."
Stay tuned for additional information as the 2021 budget process moves forward. 

Click here for a copy of Governor Murphy's Budget Address as prepared for delivery. Click here for more information on the proposed state fiscal year 2021 budget.

Please contact John Slotman, BioNJ's Vice President, Government Affairs, at should you have any questions.
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