Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


New Jersey Future Statement on Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Address

TRENTON, February 28, 2023—Peter Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future commented on Governor Murphy’s budget address:

The Governor’s budget address made it clear that New Jersey is a collection of great places, and it is his intent to invest in these places even more. To this end, New Jersey needs a budget that prioritizes redevelopment in our downtowns, vibrant foot traffic along our Main Streets, and reliable public transit that keeps us connected to our local communities, as well as our major cities.

New Jersey Future was happy to hear about a number of new initiatives and pronouncements, as well as staying the course on some important policy directions. The new urban investment fund is one notable new initiative that recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to urban redevelopment and revitalization, including the need for funding open spaces, public art, and active transportation infrastructure. It will be important to make this fund large enough and flexible enough to have a real difference, including plugging gaps in transformational housing and economic development projects. Our urban areas are a strength of our state, and it’s time to raise the bar of investment.

In the categories of continuity, it was important to hear that the Governor is proposing no NJ Transit fare hikes, an expansion of the senior property tax freeze, and the continuation of fee-free access to our state parks. We hope the legislature not only continues these efforts, but looks to expand them to include fare-free NJ Transit zones, and an electric bicycle subsidy program. Affordability will not only help our current residents, but make New Jersey vastly more competitive.

Being based in Trenton, we have watched the State House renovation progress and were excited to hear that this historic effort is almost done. However, our definition of “complete” is more broad. We would like to see the Governor and Legislature appropriate $15 million in this budget to finish the renovation by building the Capital Park behind the State House that has been on the books for over a decade.

The Governor’s vision requires the state to address our stressed and aged infrastructure, and prepare to adapt to the coming threats of climate change. As much as we all want to fast forward to the “next” New Jersey, we still have legacy issues from our past to resolve in order to reach an inclusive, fair, and equitable future. It was encouraging to hear water infrastructure mentioned, but now we need to see actual dollars dedicated to this work. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature through the budget process to ensure the vision of a new New Jersey has the funding in place to build the proper foundation and make change happen.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

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