Governor Phil Murphy

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Remembering The Honorable Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver

Executive Order 338
All Flags Half-Staff from Friday, August 4, 2023, through Monday, September 4, 2023 in recognition and mourning of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver.
Special Edition of the Office of Equity Newsletter
A Tribute to Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver

Budget Inititatives
Advancing the Work of the Wealth Disparity Task Force, Co-Chaired by Lieutenanat Governor Sheila Y. Oliver

Office of Equity

As part of his mission to build a stronger, fairer, and more equitable New Jersey, Governor Philip D. Murphy established the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (Office of Equity) which seeks “to advance equity for New Jerseyans who have been left behind for far too long.” Press Release, September 28, 2021

Equity is the extent to which all members of a group experience just and fair treatment, have equal access to opportunity, and are provided a path toward success. The Office of Equity aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in state government and across the Garden State by ensuring that equity considerations are embedded in state policy decisions.

Established by Executive Order 265, the office is charged with increasing the presence and participation of historically underrepresented groups in state government; developing equity frameworks to guide state policy decisions; directing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in the Governor’s Office; guiding and coordinating state agency initiatives to strengthen diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among those employed by the state; and monitoring implementation of these measures.

The Office of Equity is the Governor’s Office liaison to the Wealth Disparity Task Force. Established by Executive Order 262, the Wealth Disparity Task Force will examine the causes of and remedies for the long-standing wealth disparities that affect Black and Hispanic or Latino New Jerseyans. Developing actionable solutions in the areas of health, housing, education, criminal justice, and the economy broadly, the Wealth Disparity Task Force aims to ensure that all New Jerseyans are leaving behind more than memories to the next generation.

More information on the Wealth Disparity Task Force

Click here to see how the Governor's Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget hopes to address some of the challenges faced by underserved communities. Traducción Española. Traduction Française.

Governor Murphy’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Continues Investments that Further Advance the Work to Address Wealth Disparity


Highlights from the FY2025 Budget Proposal:

  • Expands Pre-K: Advances the goal of universal pre-K with additional funding for pre-K education expansion to create 1,000 more seats and expand Pre-K into new districts
  • Increases the Child Tax Credit: Continues expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit, which was increased to $1,000 per child last year
  • Reduces Barriers to Educational Access: Invests in a screening grant program that equips school districts with the tools and resources to support children who need additional literacy support and continues investments into Freedom Schools throughout the state – this national effort dates back to the 1964 Freedom Summer, which provide summer and after-school enrichment through research-based programming, emphasizing student-centered teaching, to empower school-ages children to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country, and world with hope, education, and action
  • Increases access to affordable housing and homeownership for first-generation and first-time homebuyers: Boosts New Jersey’s housing supply and makes homeownership more affordable with significant investments to continue first-time homebuyer down payment assistance and additional assistance for first-generation homebuyers, funding for home repair and rehabilitation, and investments in new accessory dwelling units (ADUs)
  • Supports an equitable response to the needs of the transit system: Requires corporations with net taxable incomes over $10 million to help maintain the service and current levels of operation to avoid saddling those who rely on the system for transportation with additional fees. Large corporations who benefit from our transit system will shoulder this fee, while many small- and medium-sized businesses will see their taxes decrease in FY2025
  • Expands Access to Life-Saving Prescription Medication: Maintains expanded eligibility for the Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold programs to further cut the costs of life-saving prescription medication,
  • Invests in a Sickle Cell Disease Pilot Program: Supports a three-year pilot to develop and implement sickle cell disease treatment programs and services
  • Addresses Child Hunger: Provides additional funding to expand free student meals in schools. New Jersey will also be joining 34 other states to take part in the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Program, bringing in over $60 million in federal funds to combat child hunger during the summer season
  • Increases Access to Capital: Includes funding for initiatives to increase supply chain diversity and support the growth of employee ownership opportunities
  • Supports Community-Led Crisis Response: Invests in community-led crisis response as directed by the Seabrooks-Washington Community-Led Crisis Response Act which establishes a Community Crisis Response Advisory Council and a county-based pilot program. The FY2025 budget proposals also expands the ARRIVE Together program which helps to bring police and mental health professionals together in responding to a crisis
  • Advances the Equitable Access and Responsible Use of GenAI: Through investments to the Governor Murphy’s AI Moonshot, the budget proposal supports best practices that mitigate data bias, encourage algorithmic transparency, and promote fairness in the use of AI
The Murphy Administration Releases the State’s Most Comprehensive Statewide Public Contracting Disparity Study


Building on his vision for the Next New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy, joined by New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) Acting Chair and CEO Allison Chris Myers, signed Executive Order No. 327 expanding job opportunities for New Jerseyans by prioritizing skills and work experience over college degree requirements for certain State employment opportunities.

This executive order will open the door to family-sustaining, high-paying jobs, with salaries that can top $120,000 a year, for the hundreds of applicants who are rejected or dissuaded from applying each year to the State’s open employment opportunities due to educational requirements. The Executive Order will open employment opportunities for a wide breadth of jobs offered by the State.

This order will take effect immediately, starting with a six-month period allowing the CSC to use its regulatory authority to identify the positions for which a college degree is not a necessity and take the steps needed to ensure that relevant job postings are aligned with this Order.

Governor Murphy's Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Includes Investments to Address the Work of the Wealth Disparity Task Force


"This budget includes several proposals derived from the work of the Wealth Disparity Task Force, which was established by Executive Order No. 262." These initiatives, as highlighted in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget in Brief, include:

  • Increasing Access to Homeownership: The budget proposes additional funding for “enhanced benefits for first-generation homebuyers, to help families who have been excluded for homeownership for generations, and to build on the State's Down Payment Assistance Program."
  • Reducing Medical Debt: "The Governor also intends to launch a pilot initiative this year to cancel New Jersey residents’ medical debt, using an investment from federal pandemic relief grants. Other jurisdictions that have launched similar programs in recent years have seen as much as $100 or more of medical debt erased for each public dollar expended. Medical debt is often unavoidable for people whether they have health insurance or not, and falls disproportionally on seniors, low-income communities, and communities of color."
  • Increasing Access to Capital: The Governor proposes to spend a new allocation this year “for initiatives to increase supply chain diversity, and that help interested businesses form Employee Stock Ownership Plans, which give their workers the chance to share in the benefits of business ownership."
  • Aligning Fees with the Guarantees Offered by the Justice System: "In recognition of the disparate, long-term impact that many of our justice system fees and fines can have, the Administration proposes eliminating public defender fees,” in accord with the guarantees offered by the justice system.
  • Reducing Barriers to Educational Access: Additional initiatives proposed in this budget to support the work of the Wealth Disparity Task Force include a new investment in community schools, “created through partnerships between school districts and local providers to deliver critical non-academic services to students, and the investment of new funds into dual enrollment efforts that will help high school students earn college credit," and additional investments into Freedom Schools in New Jersey, attributed to the 1964 Freedom Summer, which provide summer and after-school enrichment through research-based programming, emphasizing student-centered teaching, to empower school-ages children to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country, and world with hope, education, and action.
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Establishing Equity and Sustainability Advisory Council to Develop Policy for State Workforce


To expand on this Administration’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in New Jersey’s State workforce, Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 319, which establishes an Equity and Sustainability Advisory Council and requires each of the principal Cabinet departments to designate a senior-level employee to perform the functions of Chief Diversity Officer and serve as a liaison to the Council. The Governor announced the signing of the Executive Order at his and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s annual Black History Month Celebration at Drumthwacket surrounded by prominent community and faith leaders, state legislators, and activists.

“I am incredibly grateful to Governor Murphy for strengthening our capacity to create greater equity across state government,” said Jayné Johnson, Director of the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. “As the principal departments assess their employees’ needs, evaluate their workplace culture, identify opportunity gaps, and measure the impact of programs and services, the Equity and Sustainability Advisory Council will work with the departments to develop a statewide strategic plan that improves outcomes and aligns the equity work across state government.”

Governor Murphy Announces Appointment of Jayné Johnson as Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging


This new internal office, led by Jayné Johnson, aims to dismantle inequity within State government based on race, ethnicity, and other protected characteristics and to expand opportunities for communities of color and other underserved New Jerseyans.

Task Force Holds Virtual Listening Sessions


The Task Force held a series of five listening sessions, focused on a range of topics, including the economy, criminal justice, education, health, and housing. During each session, participants had the opportunity to share personal remarks, concerns, or recommendations for the Task Force to consider. The Task Force also accepted written testimony through this form.