Governor Phil Murphy

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Special Guests to Join First Lady Tammy Murphy at Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Address


TRENTON — Today, Governor Phil Murphy will present his budget for Fiscal Year 2020 – a plan to put New Jersey on a responsible path forward through sustainable savings and invest in our middle class.

This year, nine New Jerseyans will join First Lady Tammy Murphy in the Assembly Chambers as special guests. These guests embody the values and themes that Governor Murphy will be highlighting in his speech.

The following distinguished guests will be in attendance:

Francesco A. Carmagna serves as the Mayor of Elmwood Park, a town that benefitted from Governor Murphy’s fiscal year 2019 budget, which funded New Jersey’s public schools to provide property tax relief for residents. Governor Murphy’s budget includes an investment to continue this progress. 

Stacey Barrio-Lothrop and Jans Heinshon are employees of Carbon22, an innovative medical-device manufacturer, which is taking root at the Kearny Point incubator space. Carbon22 is the first company to take advantage of the investment we are making in our startup culture through NJ Ignite, the Economic Development Authority’s collaborative workspace rent initiative. Companies like Carbon22 are examples of the type of company that the Governor wants to support as we seek to jumpstart New Jersey’s innovation economy. 

Elena Elmes is a preschool teacher at Woodmere Elementary School in Eatontown, one of 64 school districts to have received $50 million in state funding in FY2019 to allow three- and four-year-old children to attend a high-quality preschool program. The Governor’s budget FY2020 maintains the commitment to our kids and our public schools.

Erin Hicks worked for six years, full-time as a deli clerk in Neptune, where her pay never exceeded $10 an hour. That wasn’t enough to feed a family of seven, pay the rent, and make a car payment. Things improved over the past year after she changed jobs, becoming a waitress at Dougie’s Bar-B-Que & Grill in Deal, where she was making per hour, plus tips. After Governor Murphy signed a bill to gradually raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, Erin received good news from Dougie’s management: they would be raising her base pay to $15 per hour, effective immediately. 

Deyonna Phillips is a newly trained doula through Nurture NJ and Department of Health’s Healthy Women, Healthy Family’s Doula Pilot Project at Children’s Futures in Trenton. A doula, also known as a birth coach, assists women before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional, physical, and informational support. Governor Murphy’s budget includes funds to provide doula care to expectant mothers enrolled in Medicaid, in order to help address racial disparities in health outcomes of new mothers and infants. The budget also maintains support for women’s health and family planning, to continue the progress made in 2018, when restored funding saw the expansion of service hours to meet the needs of more than 10,000 additional patients, and filling of 40 critical staffing roles.

Stephanie Pratico, a resident of Hamilton, is the mother of two young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Governor Murphy’s budget includes a response to address the current gaps in the behavioral health system for those with co-occurring disabilities and mental health needs.

Aurelio Sotelo, a resident of Linwood, is in his junior year as a finance student at Rutgers University-Camden and benefitting from financial aid via the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. Because of the EOF program, Aurelio is on his way to achieving his dream of owning his own clothing company. The Governor’s budget supports the Educational Opportunity Fund, which provides financial assistance and support services to New Jersey students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and is in its 50th year of supporting students.

Tawana Watkins is a current NJ TRANSIT trainee and a native of East Orange. Under the Murphy administration, NJ TRANSIT launched a major recruitment effort in 2018 to fill critical positions, particularly locomotive engineers and bus operators. More than 4,000 applications were received for locomotive engineering positions with 102 trainees hired, including Tawana. The Governor’s budget includes funding to continue the progress made with NJ TRANSIT.

Click here to watch the Governor’s budget address live at 2:00 p.m.