Murphy lowers free college estimate from $400M to $200M

Murphy lowers free college estimate from $400M to $200M

The Latest: Murphy's college estimate drops to $200M

Phil Murphy, the Democratic Party's nominee for governor, committed on Monday to providing free community college to residents, seizing on a progressive but costly proposal that would place New Jersey among a handful of states picking up the cost of tuition.

Speaking earlier Monday at a news conference in Trenton, Murphy had estimated the cost to be about $400 million. Cory Booker, D-Newark.

He initially said the cost would be "in the area of $400 million", but his campaign later cited a 2016 study by Campaign for Free College Tuition that estimated tuition to be about $200 million.

The latest Real Clear Politics average shows Murphy with a 24-point lead over Guadagno, which has led to speculation that her role as Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) deputy has hurt her numbers.

"Kids still pay", he said. "This is making it affordable, accessible for everybody who wants to go down that path".

Murphy has previously said he supported tuition-free community college.

Murphy said some of the money could come from the federal government and added that the proposal would be phased in over time.

Murphy's top competition in the November 7 election comes from GOP Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who is promising to audit state government and lower property taxes.

Guadagno campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz critiqued Murphy's community college proposal, saying taxpayers would have to foot the bill.

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