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Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in NJ - August 19th, 2022


Governor Murphy, NJ CEO Council, & Social Finance Launch New Jersey Pay It Forward Program to Prepare Students for Good-Paying Jobs in Health Care, IT, and Clean Energy

Governor Phil Murphy, the New Jersey CEO Council, and Social Finance  announced the launch of the New Jersey Pay It Forward Program – a new and innovative workforce development program that furthers the Governor’s ongoing commitment to helping residents obtain quality postsecondary education and training to advance their careers, as outlined in the New Jersey Higher Education State Plan and Jobs NJ . The Pay It Forward Program, which is the first of its kind in the nation, will help build a robust and talented workforce while supporting economic growth in the state. Participants in the program will receive zero-interest, no-fee loans at no upfront cost, as well as non-repayable living stipends and wraparound supports, to allow them to affordably prepare for good-paying, career-track jobs in the health care, information technology (IT), and clean energy sectors.
“With today’s launch of Pay It Forward, New Jersey is the first state in the nation to model this innovative approach that will help residents obtain family-sustaining jobs and then pay their success forward by supporting future cohorts of students,” said Governor Murphy. “This initiative is another way in which my Administration is working to give more residents access to high-quality education and training that will lead to good-paying jobs and successful careers. Investing in our residents will not only give them the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families, but will also help meet employers’ needs and promote economic development throughout the state.”
“I share the excitement of the Governor and my fellow council members about the launch of the Pay It Forward program,” said Charles Lowrey, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, and Co-Chair of the N.J. CEO Council. “I am confident this program will help under-resourced New Jerseyans develop valuable skills, access new job opportunities and achieve financial security for their families they may have thought was unattainable.”   
“On behalf of Verizon, I am proud to support this cutting-edge educational funding program,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon, and Co-Chair of the N.J. CEO Council. “It will enable more people to participate in a future driven by mobility, broadband and cloud computing, which are the essential pieces of infrastructure driving New Jersey’s economy. This is good for the state, good for Verizon and good for the country.”

“We're excited to partner with the State of New Jersey and the CEO Council to launch this first-of-its kind public-private partnership that brings the state’s economic and workforce development priorities together,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance, the nonprofit designing and managing the fund. “This sustainable, innovative fund is helping to advance New Jersey’s business goals while putting the learner’s success at the center of the arrangement.”


Governor Murphy & Treasurer Muoio Praise S&P’s Decision to Upgrade New Jersey’s Credit Outlook to Positive

Governor Phil Murphy and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio praised the decision by rating agency S&P to upgrade the outlook for New Jersey’s general obligation bonds from stable to positive. Since the enactment of the FY 2022 State budget last year, New Jersey has received two credit rating upgrades and five outlook upgrades from all four major rating agencies.

In making their decision, S&P noted that, “New Jersey’s finances have shown a remarkable turnaround” and cited the State’s structural budget balance, strong unreserved fund balance, and continued efforts to budget the full annual actuarially determined contribution (ADC) to its retirement systems.

“We have come a long way from the days of missed or reduced pension payments, a startlingly low surplus, and ignored obligations,” said Governor Murphy. “Not only have we gotten our fiscal house in order, we’ve fortified it and made good on our promise to taxpayers to strengthen the delivery of services and make New Jersey more affordable for everyone who calls it home.”

“We’ve made remarkable strides since the first days of this Administration,” said State Treasurer Muoio. “While we were buoyed by good fortune, we have been bound by smart choices. Together with our partners in the Legislature, we have reduced our bonded debt, built a strong, reliable surplus, and delivered what was once unrealistic – two consecutive record pension payments.”

In addition to the general obligation bonds, S&P also assigned a positive outlook on various other bonds secured by annual State appropriations.


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Lifting Routine COVID-19 Testing Requirements for School Districts, Child Care Settings, and State Contractors

Following recent updates to COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in advance of the upcoming school year, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order lifting the requirement that school districts, child care settings, and state contractors maintain a policy requiring their unvaccinated workers undergo routine testing. The change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of September 1, 2022.

As of June 17, 2022, anyone aged 6 months or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, more than 18.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 1.9 million doses having been administered to children under the age of 18.

“Today’s executive order follows guidance from public health officials at the CDC regarding responsible steps states can take as we continue to adjust to the endemic reality of COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “With children as young as 6 months old now eligible for vaccines and millions of New Jerseyans vaccinated and boosted, more of our residents are safe from severe illness due to COVID-19. As always, I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccination and take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus.”


Governor Murphy Highlights State Investments in Local Communities, Infrastructure with Visit to Paterson

Governor Murphy visited Paterson to highlight direct investments in local communities and infrastructure alongside state and local officials. As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) budget agreement, Paterson will receive over $50 million, which includes $15 million for the Great Falls Re-Development, the Straight and Narrow program, the Ward Street Parking Garage, and the Paterson Jump Start Youth Program; $2.25 million for the NJ Community Development Corporation Youth Center Project, Paterson; and $2 million for the Anti-violence Out-of-School Youth Program. The $50 million also includes nearly $35 million in municipal aid, of which over $1.7 million comes from the new Municipal Relief Fund.

“Our path toward a stronger, fairer New Jersey begins in every local community – on every road we traverse, every community center we frequent, and every neighborhood we call home,” said Governor Murphy. “The vast assortment of investments presented today are evidence of what our local officials – and our residents – know all too well: the needs of our communities are great, but their potential is even greater. That potential can only be achieved through comprehensive state investments that promote lasting stability and growth for generations to come.”

“The Governor and I are proud to partner with local communities where so much of what makes New Jersey great happens,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers the Transitional Aid program and the new Municipal Relief Fund. “The Murphy Administration remains committed to helping local governments do the best job they can, including providing public services that are critical to community vitality.”


Governor Murphy, Acting AG Platkin Announce Publication of Division on Civil Rights FAQs to Prevent Discrimination Related to hMPXV (“Monkeypox”)

Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced that the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) within the Attorney General’s Office has published FAQs for the public about New Jersey residents’ rights and protections against discrimination and bias-based harassment related to the “monkeypox” virus, as well as information about how to file a civil rights complaint with DCR if members of the public are victims of discrimination.

The FAQs issued address frequently asked questions about discrimination and harassment related to human hMPXV, commonly known as the “monkeypox” virus, and the protections that New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) affords to those infected with hMPXV.         

“Today, through these FAQs, we are addressing the harmful discrimination and bias-based harassment folks are experiencing due to monkeypox. There is no excuse for any kind of retaliation on members of our communities who are suffering from the virus,” said Governor Murphy. “These FAQs are an example of our commitment to making sure all New Jersey residents, regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, or health status, are treated equally and with respect. My Administration will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all of our communities.”

“Today, the Murphy Administration, the Attorney General’s office, and the Division on Civil Rights have made it crystal clear that we will not tolerate bias or discrimination against those suffering from monkeypox,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “As cases of monkeypox continue to rise across the State and the country, we remain firmly committed to holding accountable anyone who discriminates against or harasses those suffering from this virus..”