Key veto by NJ Gov. Murphy delays looming toll increase

Gov. Phil Murphy has vetoed the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s 2024 budget, a decision that delays a planned 3% toll increase.

The Democratic governor announced his decision in a social media post made Thursday, stating he was not satisfied with the justification for the toll increase included in the agency’s $2.6 billion budget. Murphy said he wants more information on why the hike is needed.

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Authority board members had voted 6-0 to approve the budget Tuesday. The agency operates the Garden State Parkway and the Turnpike.

Tom Feeney, an authority spokesperson, said the agency “respects” Murphy’s decision.

“We’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work gathering the information he needs,” Feeney said.

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Murphy’s decision to block the toll increase comes as voting in the legislative midterm election is already underway and Democrats are hoping to hold on to their majorities. It also comes just two days after the Democratic leaders of the Assembly and Senate publicly called on Murphy to veto the authority’s decision because “New Jersey families have been struggling with the effects of inflation.”

During his call-in television show Thursday, Murphy said his veto decision was not politically motivated. Calling the veto a time out, the governor said he would analyze the data, and make an informed decision.

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