NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey’s democrat governor and the democrat-led legislature can’t seem to come to an agreement on a new budget. The stalemate may hit transit riders in the Garden State the hardest and has residents asking one question: who’s to blame?
“What are we paying for? I don’t even know what we are paying for right now and its not cheap just getting here it’s 300 dollars we paid we sit for hours on the train and we cant even get to work on time,” frustrated commuter Harita Boypati told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Several commuters were late to work once again thanks to a disabled train in one of the Hudson River tunnels. Riders are growing even more frustrated with the news that Gov. Phil Murphy may raise fares if his budget is not passed.
“Nobody should be being paid top dollar for poor pathetic service,” commuter Carroll Keating fumed.
Murphy joked about the situation with reporters that he’d try to blame former governor Chris Christie for a possible commuter fare hike, claiming that his administration “inherited a mess.”
“In all fairness… I’m only five and a half months in on the third largest bus and rail commuter system in the country… I will continue to blame the prior administration,” Murphy added.
“At some point New Jersey voters expect government to take ownership of the state’s issues and state’s problems,” political expert Jeanette Hoffman countered.
Gov. Murphy remains at odds with his fellow democrats on his plan which calls for raising the income tax on millionaires and increasing the sales tax to pay for transit, education, and pensions.
A government shutdown – which could also furlough thousands of state workers and close state parks – also looms over the budget talks. The governor says he is willing to compromise and plans to meet with legislative leaders on Wednesday to hash out a deal.