New Portal North Bridge Construction Gets Green Light with "Notice to Proceed"
Governor Phil Murphy and NJ TRANSIT announced the issuance of the “Notice to Proceed” on the new Portal North Bridge project. The bridge, which is part of the larger Gateway Program, will improve capacity and reliability for rail travel between New Jersey and New York City.
“From day one of my Administration, we have prioritized investments in environmentally friendly mass transit. After years of crucial behind the scenes work, this notice to proceed means train customers will soon see tangible evidence of our commitment to modernizing the rail system,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This announcement is another testament to our partners in the Biden Administration, NJ TRANSIT, the U.S. Department of Transportation, our federal delegation, and Amtrak for continuing to prioritize this vital project.”
“This notice to proceed brings us yet another step closer to making the new Portal North Bridge a reality,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “I would like to thank Governor Murphy and our Congressional delegation for prioritizing rail infrastructure and for their unwavering support of this critical project.”
New Jersey Establishes Telework Pilot Program for State Employees
The New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) voted to approve a pilot program empowering State of New Jersey departments and authorities to establish a telework program for employees. This action is a bold step toward modernizing New Jersey’s State workplace landscape while maintaining core services and ensuring responsiveness to the needs of constituents. Additionally, the shift to telework will offer more workplace flexibility, allowing State agencies to compete with the private sector by broadening strategies and incentives for talent recruitment and retention.
The pilot program will last one year and apply to all State departments and authorities, with an implementation deadline of July 1, 2022.
“Telework will accelerate the modernization of New Jersey’s State government to reflect the evolving workplace landscape,” said Governor Murphy. “Our union partners have been integral to the creation of this telework pilot program. Through collaboration, we can continue to build a workforce equipped to handle the demands of the modern workplace.”
"The approval of the Model Telework Pilot Program is a monumental step that addresses the current needs of the State workforce,” said Civil Service Commission Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Deirdré Webster Cobb Esq. “During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed State employees successfully continue to deliver critical State and public services while teleworking. As we witness changes around the world in the landscape of how we work, it is important for us to adapt in order to attract and retain qualified State workers.”
Governor Murphy Nominates Cari Fais as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
Governor Phil Murphy announced his nomination of Cari Fais as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, where she will oversee a staff of over 500 professionals whose responsibilities include enforcing the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, one of the broadest consumer protection laws in the nation, and supporting dozens of professional licensure boards. Fais’s nomination will be submitted to the Senate and she will assume the role as Acting Director in the coming weeks.
“Cari has demonstrated exemplary leadership and an unwavering commitment to public service throughout her career,” said Governor Murphy. “Her extensive experience and expertise, including her efforts to investigate and prosecute drug manufacturers responsible for our state’s opioid crisis, make her the ideal fit for this position. It is my honor to nominate her as Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs and I look forward to her confirmation by the Senate.”
“I am honored by the opportunity to serve as the next Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs,” said Cari Fais. “I thank Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Platkin for entrusting me with this responsibility to help create a safer and fairer New Jersey. I look forward to working with the dedicated public servants in the Division to protect the health, safety, and financial security of New Jersey's residents.”
Governor Murphy and Treasurer Muoio Announce Launch of NJ FinLit - a Free Financial Wellness Platform - to Help New Jersey Residents Rebuild from the Pandemic, Plan for the Future
As part of National Financial Literacy Month, Governor Phil Murphy announced during CNBC’s Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. event that the New Jersey Department of the Treasury has launched NJ FinLit, a free financial wellness platform for all adult state residents, this afternoon.
"Understanding money, building credit, saving for a home or retirement – these are life-long lessons that persist well after we leave the classroom," said Governor Phil Murphy. "That's why I'm grateful that Treasurer Liz Muoio and her team are committed to providing every adult across our State with access to free financial wellness education through NJ FinLit. New Jersey was a leader in getting personal financial literacy into our K-12 curriculum, but this new platform will close the circle to ensure every resident has the tools they need to take control of their financial future."
“The shock of the COVID-19 pandemic – both social and financial – laid bare the fact that New Jersey families most affected by the economic downturn were the ones with the fewest resources to cope with financial instability,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “Our goal in launching NJ FinLit is to provide New Jerseyans with tools to help them better prepare for and meet future financial challenges. It is our hope that this free educational resource, which can be personalized by New Jerseyans at all stages of life, regardless of income, and translated into multiple languages, will both help our residents strengthen their financial resiliency and enable them to reach their long term goals.”
Spring Tradition Gets Underway with Opening Day of Trout Season on Saturday, April 9
Anglers will have approximately 250,000 freshly stocked rainbow trout to catch in waterways across the state when trout season opens on Saturday, April 9, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced.
Approximately 100,000 anglers of all ages are expected to head to their favorite fishing spots on opening day, which kicks off at 8 a.m. Trout season in New Jersey is eagerly anticipated by many because it’s an excellent opportunity to spend quality time outdoors while also enjoying some outstanding fishing.
“DEP Fish and Wildlife began stocking beautiful rainbow trout raised at the Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County statewide on March 21, and will continue stocking through the end of May,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “I encourage anglers to take full advantage of our quality stocking program and enjoy not only some of the best trout fishing on the East Coast, but also the beauty of New Jersey’s great outdoors.”