Governor Highlights Efforts to Protect Residents, Grow the Economy, Secure the Middle Class, and Improve Affordability
Details Proposals to Modernize State’s Liquor License Laws, Shape Economic Incentives to Address New Workforce Reality, Implement First-in-the-Nation Naloxone Initiative, Extend ANCHOR Deadline, and Preserve Boardwalks Up & Down the Jersey Shore
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today delivered the first in-person State of the State Address since January 2020 at the State House in Trenton – his fifth State of the State address overall since the start of his Administration. In his address, Governor Murphy highlighted accomplishments of the past five years, announced upcoming initiatives, and reaffirmed his commitment to making New Jersey the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.
“Over the past five years in office, we have come so far in our efforts to make New Jersey the State of Opportunity,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud of the steps we have taken to support families, advance our economy, and better our communities. New Jersey is where opportunity lives, education is valued, justice is embraced, compassion is the norm, and the American Dream is alive and well. And we will not stop working to make New Jersey stronger, fairer, and more affordable. As we move forward with these goals, I believe we can and will shape the next New Jersey on behalf of all who call our state home.”
The Governor spoke to some of the significant achievements that have been made this past year and throughout his time in office, including:
- Providing direct property tax relief to taxpayers through the ANCHOR Program, with up to $1,500 in rebates for eligible homeowners and up to $450 for eligible renters;
- Making life more affordable for families and working to secure the middle class through a Child Tax Credit of up to $500 per dependent and a School Sales Tax Holiday;
- Raising the minimum wage and putting it on a path to $15 an hour, with the minimum wage hitting $14.13 on January 1 of this year;
- Protecting communities from car theft by providing funding for license plate recognition technology, explicitly allowing police pursuits of stolen vehicles, and growing the State Police’s Auto Theft Task Force, resulting in significant year-over-year decreases during the final months of 2022;
- Advancing critical upgrades to transportation infrastructure by breaking ground on the Portal North Bridge project and securing additional funding through Amtrak for the Gateway Program;
- Supporting small businesses, start-ups, and other important businesses within New Jersey communities by allocating an additional $50 million in funding for the ongoing Main Street Recovery Program this fiscal year;
- Implementing policing reform initiatives by creating a comprehensive police licensing framework and launching a program that partners police with mental health screeners when they respond to applicable emergencies;
- Working to protect the health of our communities by utilizing tools we have to address the spread of infectious diseases and combatting the ongoing opioid epidemic – leading to a decrease in drug-related deaths in 2022 and the lowest statewide total since 2017;
- Continuing to pursue environmental justice and expand green spaces on behalf of overburdened and underserved communities through actions such as purchasing land to create a new park – the Garden State Greenway – that stretches throughout communities from Montclair to Jersey City;
- Defending reproductive freedom by enshrining this right into State law and working to expand access to critical reproductive health care services;
- Promoting gun safety by passing a package of carefully crafted laws that keep guns out of the wrong hands and out of places they do not belong;
- Encouraging the growth of key industries to boost our economy and create more jobs, resulting in the expansion and creation of industries such as the life sciences, offshore wind, cannabis, financial technology, and film/television – the last of which created 5,500 jobs and contributed more than half-a-billion dollars to the State’s economy in 2021 alone; and
- Continuously promoting the economic success of our state, resulting in three credit rating upgrades in 2022, job retention and growth for 31 consecutive months, GDP growth among the top 10 states in the nation in the last recorded quarter, and a current unemployment rate lower than the national average and nearly as low as it was before the start of the pandemic.
During his State of the State address, the Governor also emphasized several key priorities and steps the Administration will be taking in the upcoming year:
- Extending the application period for the ANCHOR Program by another month, to February 28, 2023, to ensure more renters and homeowners have the time they need to apply for this critical affordability initiative;
- Taking further steps to discourage car thefts by urging the passage of a legislative package the Governor unveiled two months ago to strengthen laws against car thefts;
- Incentivizing the creation of new jobs in our state while recognizing the changing work landscape that entails more remote work than it once did;
- Reforming New Jersey’s antiquated and confusing liquor license laws on behalf of countless restaurants unable to obtain one by relaxing and eventually ending current restrictions while providing a targeted tax credit to businesses that already invested in a license of their own – a plan which is ultimately estimated to generate up to $10 billion in new economic activity over 10 years and create upwards of 10,000 jobs annually;
- Removing outdated licensing and operating restrictions on breweries and distilleries to enable the continued renaissance of these businesses;
- Helping New Jerseyans impacted by the opioid epidemic by adopting a new policy to allow any resident to anonymously obtain the lifesaving, overdose-reversal medicine Naloxone for free from any participating pharmacy, at any time;
- Supporting our Shore towns and coastal cities through the creation of a Boardwalk Fund that would enable critical upgrades to the boardwalks that define these communities and support their local economies; and
- Preparing New Jersey to host World Cup games in 2026, after the Administration successfully worked to bring this global event to our state.
For the Governor’s full address, click here.
For the biographies of the special guests at this year's State of the State address, click here.