Asm. Coughlin on Key Areas of Gov. Murphy's Proposed Budget
Steve Adubato sits down with Asm. Craig J. Coughlin (D) - NJ, Assembly Speaker, to discuss the key areas of Governor Murphy’s proposed budget; funding for NJ Transit; the millionaire’s tax; improving tax incentive programs; and the legalization of marijuana.
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We're coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in beautiful Brick City. That's Newark, New Jersey. We are honored to be joined by the Speaker of the Assembly, Craig Coughlin, who represents the 19th District. Actually, you represent the entire state. Good to see you Assemblyman. Well thank you Steve. It's a pleasure to be here. First and foremost, I represent the 19th District. Absolutely. Let me ask you this. We're doing this program after the governor's budget address. Mm hmm. We'll be seen after. What do you like, what don't you like, about it? Well, look. I think there's a number of things in the governor's budget that jump off the page that are really the product of a lot of good, hard work on his part. There's about a billion-six in savings from all different sources. You know through Medicare savings, and through Medicaid savings, I should say. Through departmental savings, and through work that he has done to reduce healthcare costs. And let's be clear. You're talking about the governor's negotiations with the Communication Workers of America? A major public employee... Well those and others apparently. I haven't seen that yet. On healthcare costs to public employees, state employees? Correct. But the... Real savings? Real savings. Some say, "Oh, come on! It's a drop in the bucket." You say? I say a billion dollars is real money. And that, you know, those are gonna be the savings that we can hopefully carry forward throughout the future, you know. That it reduces the starting point. Medical benefits cost is a constant challenge, right? Year in and year out. Everyone who pays for their own understands that. Everyone who runs a business understands that. It's a constant challenge each and every year to try and reduce costs. So this is something that I think... well, you asked me what I like? That's one of the things I like. You like the New Jersey Transit investment? Well look. I think... More state money to the New Jersey Transit budget? I do. And last year, we relied on a diversion from a couple of sources. This is in there in its own way. I think we should look at whether we want to add some more money to that, but that... we're gonna have to work through the budget as we get going. We've just... it was presented last... this Tuesday. Yup. Yup. So it's less than we... As we do this program, absolutely. Right. Sorry to date that on you. No. No. No. We actually put the date up. We always disclose. It's alright. But... you know..."