News

CIG Insider – Budget Edition 2018

State House Happenings
After weeks of bitter disagreement, dueling press conferences and rising rhetoric about how the State should raise revenues to fund its next fiscal budget, Governor Murphy signed a $37.4 billionspending plan late on Sunday, reflecting compromised changes between the Legislative and Executive Branches.  With a government shutdown looming, principals and staff worked around the clock in Trenton to hammer out an agreement which culminated in rare Sunday voting sessions lasting more than 12 hours to approve the legislation.  Governor Murphy immediately signed the budget bills and made a joint public appearance with Senate President Sweeney and Speaker CoughlinSaturday night. Putting aside the contentiousness of the just concluded budget process, all three Democratic leaders pledged to work together, find common ground and accomplish many things in the future.
The final budget includes raising tax rates on multi-millionaires and corporations, and investments in public schools, property tax relief and NJ Transit.  Efforts to restore the sales tax to 7% fell short.  A corporation business tax surcharge will be imposed on companies earning more than $1 million annually.  The levy will increase the current 9% rate by 2.5% in the first two years, and then reduced to 1.5% in the third and fourth years. Revenues generated from the CBT surcharge is projected to generate $705 million in new revenue.  Large companies will also be subject to tightening tax policy concerning combined reporting and repatriation.  These changes, aimed at capturing tax revenues on profits that are generated and products that are produced in New Jersey, are expected to net the State $200 million in new revenue.
School Funding Formula
One of Governor Murphy’s top priorities during this contentious budget cycle has been the battle over revamping the school funding formula.
The current formula hasn’t been sufficiently funded in years, and the Governor promised during his campaign to enact a more equitable structure that would level the playing field for districts across the State. Now, a new mechanism for calculating funding was passed by the legislature and approved by the Governor – this new formula would boost state aid to districts that experienced a negative funding differential in the past, and reduce aid to districts that received a positive differential by certain percentage increments, to go into effect in the 2019-2020 school year.
Additionally, the formula will provide a $57 million appropriation for the expansion of pre-K programs, another priority that the Governor highlighted on the campaign trail.
Movers and Shakers

He’s baaaack…. Kevin Drennan recently returned to his prior post as Executive Director of the Senate Majority Office,  just six months after leaving for the private sector.   The straight-shooting top aide to
Senate President Steve Sweeney ran point and for the Senate Dems throughout the recently-concluded and rancorous budget negotiations with the Murphy Administration.  Also in the Senate Majority Office, Alfred Doblin, the former editorial editor at The Bergen Record and longtime columnist, joined the team as Director of Communications.
Brian Quigley was named the Assembly Majority’s top lawyer earlier this year.  He previously served as the Assembly’s Deputy Counsel and was the chief aide on the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.  Nicole Brown replaced Quigley on the committee, a position she previously held.  Mickey Quinn was promoted to Deputy Executive Director of the Assembly Majority Office.  The trusted aide was formerly a senior advisor to Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald.      
 
Ryan Fox recently left his position with Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) to join the Murphy Administration as an aide to Chief of StaffPete Cammarano.  Ryan returns home to New Jersey after an 18-month stint with Gottheimer in his Washington office. Jennifer Mangano will assume the open position in the Congressman’s office.

Luke Wolff is the new Budget Director in the Senate Majority Office.  Luke was formerly with the Office of Legislative Services.  Congrats to Elizabeth Mahn, who was promoted to Deputy Budget Director.  She will continue to be the top Senate Majority aide to the Senate Education Committee.  Welcome aboard Kate Milsaps who recently joined the Senate Majority Office after stints at the Sierra Club and the Highlands Coalition.  Kate is staffing the Senate Commerce Committee.
Shannon McManus, the former director of Legislative Affairs in the Treasury during the Christie Administration, has joined Bob Hugin‘s campaign for US Senate as the Deputy Director for Research.
Huge congrats to our friend and client Natasha Hemmings who was recently named chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.  The former Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ, Natasha is the first African-American to hold the post. Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey serves more than 17,000 Girl Scouts in Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Warren counties.
At CIG,Paul Crupi was appointed to the Middletown Township Planning Board and most recently its Historic Preservation Committee, and was elected to serve on the Monmouth County Republican Committee. CIG Principal Gene Mulroy was reelected to serve another term on the Monmouth County Democratic Committee. Happy one-year anniversary to the Asian Women of Trenton Networking Group.  Co-founded by CIG’s Sabeen Masih, the networking organization is comprised of 30+ professional South and East Asian political movers and shakers throughout the New Jersey.
CIG Client Spotlight
 
CIG has been working with American Dream, the largest entertainment and retail development project under construction in the country, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.

Located in the Meadowlands, the more than 3 million square foot property will offer a rich blend of global retail, destination dining, upscale arts and entertainment and create more than 16,000 permanent jobs in New Jersey.  American Dream’s creator, Triple Five, owns and manages Mall of America, the country’s largest tourism, retail and entertainment complex.