New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a fiscal 2021 budget law that calls for a $4.7 billion contribution to the New Jersey pension system and authorization to borrow up to $4.5 billion to fill revenue gaps caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The $32.7 billion budget is for the nine months starting Oct. 1, the first day of the revised fiscal year.
"It's the right thing to do," Mr. Murphy said of the pension contribution during the budget-law signing ceremony in Trenton.
In April, Murphy signed a law extending the traditional fiscal year to Sept. 30, rather than June 30, because of the pandemic. He also signed an emergency appropriations bill for $7.6 billion for those three extra months.
The $4.7 billion state contribution is below the $4.9 billion that Mr. Murphy requested in his budget proposal in August. The contribution will be made in four quarterly payments during the revised fiscal year — the first is set for October — and encompasses both general funds and proceeds from the state lottery, which has been a pension system asset for several years.
The state has counted on an estimated $1 billion in lottery proceeds each fiscal year, but the pandemic cut into that amount during the 12 months ended June 30. Lottery proceeds accounted for $937 million, and the state didn't make up the difference.