Governor Prioritizes Making Smart Investments in the Middle Class, Restoring Fiscal Responsibility, and Changing the Culture of Trenton
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today delivered his second State of the State Address at the State House in Trenton. The Governor highlighted accomplishments from his first two years in office, outlined priorities to address the challenges ahead, and reaffirmed his commitment to making smart investments in the middle class, restoring fiscal responsibility, and changing the culture of Trenton.
“As a new year and a new decade unfold, our job has not changed. Our mission is to lift New Jersey up, and to make it stronger, fairer, and more resilient – so our residents can feel more secure not just in their futures, but also in their children’s,” said Governor Murphy. “We reflect today on the great strides we have made, and we join together to address the challenges that have developed and deepened across a generation, so we can continue building a brighter future.”
In his address, Governor Murphy called on his colleagues to join together and build on the economic and social progress made during the first two years of his Administration, which include record-setting job and wage growth, the nation’s leading efforts to tackle gun violence, and monumental criminal justice reform, among other achievements. In his speech, the Governor highlighted some of his second-year accomplishments, including:
- Building a stronger and fairer economy by adding and supporting 72,000 private sector jobs and achieving record-low unemployment two years in a row;
- Restoring fiscal responsibility by making the first deposit into the Rainy Day Fund in over a decade and delivering significant health savings through good faith negotiations with public workers;
- Establishing an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour that will give more than one million families a stronger foothold in the middle class, and allow those who aspire to enter the middle class the means to do so;
- Making high quality education more available and affordable to all with continued investments in pre-k, tuition-free community college, and expanded access to STEM;
- Moving toward full funding of our schools by restoring more than $500 million in formula-based aid for our public schools since 2018;
- Restoring safety, service, and reliability to NJ TRANSIT through record-breaking funding levels and the hiring of engineers, conductors, and bus operators;
- Increasing the Administration’s ambitious offshore wind goal to 7,500 MW by 2035 and overseeing the nation’s largest offshore wind solicitation;
- Strengthening commonsense gun safety laws through legislation, executive orders, and partnerships across government;
- Reforming our criminal justice system by establishing a clean slate expungement system and restoring voting rights to those who have served their time;
- Protecting women’s health through nearly $20 million in state funding for Title X and family planning services; and
- Fighting to ensure health care protections for consumers by codifying ACA protections in state law, implementing a reinsurance program, and establishing a State-Based Exchange.
Governor Murphy also highlighted the following initiatives as part of his State of the State address:
- Ensuring tax fairness through a millionaire’s tax, so we can ease the property tax burden on middle-class families and seniors, and do more to help fund our public schools;
- Establishing an Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency in the Governor’s Office to reduce consumer health care costs, make insurance more affordable, and improve price transparency;
- Establishing Jobs NJ, a talent-based economic development strategy to maintain New Jersey as the location of choice for workers and businesses and to help build New Jersey’s innovation economy;
- Fixing NJ TRANSIT through a ten-year strategic plan and a five-year capital plan;
- Providing a roadmap to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 through an Energy Master Plan;
- Devising a new system of tax incentive programs to maintain New Jersey’s economic competitiveness;
- Instituting ethics reforms to change a failed Trenton culture that caters to special interests;
- Codifying a woman’s full reproductive rights into state law;
- Financing lead remediation and abatement efforts to ensure the delivery of clean water and address other pressing water infrastructure challenges;
- Creating a wealth disparity task force to inform the work of closing racial wealth gaps across New Jersey; and
- Tackling property tax growth and promoting government efficiency through 980 proposed shared services agreements at the local level in 2019.
For the Governor’s full address, click here.
For a summary of the Governor’s address, click here.