Governor Phil Murphy

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Wealth Disparity Task Force

“We cannot have a stronger and fairer New Jersey without examining the causes of our wealth gaps and without establishing strategies to combat this long-standing problem. I look forward to working with the Wealth Disparity Task Force and continuing our Administration’s efforts to create an economy that works for every New Jerseyan.” – Governor Phil Murphy. Press Release September 14, 2021.

Fulfilling a key commitment from his 2020 State of the State address, Governor Murphy established the Wealth Disparity Task Force to examine the causes of and remedies for the long-standing wealth disparities that affect Black and Hispanic or Latino New Jerseyans. Executive Order 262.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the formation of the Wealth Disparity Task Force, shed light on long-standing inequities that have plagued our state. Historically underserved communities, particularly communities of color, were among the hardest hit by the health and economic toll of the pandemic. Rebuilding toward a stronger New Jersey includes targeted investments aimed at addressing the underlying inequities which were exacerbated by the pandemic.

To develop actionable solutions in the areas of health, housing, education, criminal justice, and the economy, the Wealth Disparity Task Force aims to ensure that all New Jerseyans are leaving behind more than memories to the next generation.

The Wealth Disparity Task Force is co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, Sheila Y. Oliver, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, Rutgers University President Dr. Jonathan Holloway, and Retired Council of New Jersey Grantmakers President and CEO Maria Vizcarrondo.

Members of the task force

Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A.

New Jersey Department of Health

Robert Asaro-Angelo

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan
Acting Commissioner

New Jersey Department of Education

Matthew J. Platkin
Acting Attorney General

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General

Elizabeth Maher Muoio - Treasurer

State of New Jersey

Dr. Brian Bridges

Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

Tim Sullivan

New Jersey Economic Development Authority 

Rachel Wainer Apter

New Jersey Division on Civil Rights

Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis
Chief Policy Advisor

Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Michellene Davis Esq.
President & CEO

National Medial Fellowships

Hon. Jeannine Frisby LaRue
Senior Vice President

Kaufman Zita Group

Cid Wilson
President & CEO

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)

Raymond Lamboy
President & CEO

Latin American Economic Development Inc

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Prioritize Work Experience and Skills Training Over Four-Year Degrees for Certain State Employment Opportunities


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.

In the News: Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Investments to Address the Work of the Wealth Disparity Task Force


"How much you’d save under Murphy plan to suspend N.J. fees, including state parks, teachers … part of a broader focus on affordability in New Jersey and is aimed at addressing persistent issues of race-based wealth disparity … " (read more -

Employee Ownership Efforts Move Forward in NJ, MO - (National Center for Employee Ownership)


"Employee Ownership Efforts Move Forward in NJ, MO" (read more - National Center for Employee Ownership)

Exclusive: Murphy budget allocates money for employee ownership efforts (updated) - (NJBIZ)


"Exclusive: Murphy budget allocates money for employee ownership efforts (updated)" (read more - NJBIZ)

"Governor Murphy’s budget plan pitches ending fees for clients of public defenders" (read more - New Jersey Monitor)

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.