WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Legislators, Mayors, and Advocates Applaud Governor Murphy’s 2023 State of the State Address
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday delivered his 2023 State of the State Address, in which he unveiled his vision for shaping the “Next New Jersey.” 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.
Legislators, mayors, and advocates from across the state have applauded the Governor’s 2023 State of the State Address.
See below for what they’re saying:
Senate President Nicholas Scutari
“I welcome the Governor’s continued focus on affordability and economic opportunity. We need to build upon the progress we have made in providing tax relief, affordable housing, job creation, debt reduction, credit upgrades and strategic investments that promote economic growth.
“We have to maintain our emphasis on the needs and priorities of the hard-working people of New Jersey, especially the actions we can take to make their lives more affordable and improve their quality of life.
“I will work with Governor Murphy and Speaker Craig Coughlin and our legislative colleagues to address these priorities in the year ahead.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin
We are proud of what we have accomplished to make New Jersey a better, more affordable place to live. The Governor’s State of the State speech accurately captured the successes of the past five years.
“Working together, we passed the largest property tax relief program – including the largest property tax relief initiative – in New Jersey history. Because of the sound financial decisions we have made, we have seen three credit rating upgrades over the past year, and we will preserve and expand programs to make New Jersey a more affordable place to live this year.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Murphy and the Senate on a common sense agenda to address the issues that matter most to New Jersey families.”
Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz
“During the State of the State, Governor Murphy demonstrated how New Jersey has been lifting up the needs of women and children by improving maternal care, safeguarding a women’s right to choose and providing assistance to working parents. Our collaborative efforts in addressing these issues saw us improve our outcomes for infants and new mothers and allow more individuals to return to the workforce with the help of the new childcare tax credit.
“I look forward to this new year, working alongside the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to secure excellence for all students as we continue to build new facilities, engage the next generation of classroom leaders, and create policies to close the achievement gap.”
Deputy Majority Leader Paul Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee
“While underscoring the Murphy Administration’s advancement of affordability and opportunity across the state, the Governor’s State of the State Address also highlighted an array of exciting new initiatives that we look forward to discussing in greater depth throughout the coming weeks. Together with Governor Murphy, my legislative colleagues and I will consider these proposals and help bring to fruition investments that are not only fiscally responsible but laser-focused on maintaining New Jersey’s status as the best state to live, work, and raise family.”
Senator Nellie Pou, Chair of the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus
“As Chair of the Legislative Latino Caucus, I share in the enthusiasm and possibilities for the future of New Jersey as laid out in the governor's State of the State Address. Continuing the work of making New Jersey affordable for working families, enhancing our transportation infrastructure and supporting small businesses, many of them Latino- and first-generation, immigrant-owned enterprises taking root in cities throughout the state, will go a long way toward making our state stronger and fairer for all who strive to make a living in our diverse state.”
Senator Joe Cryan
“New Jersey continues to thrive under the leadership of Governor Phil Murphy. From making life more affordable to reducing sky-high unemployment to encouraging the growth of new industries, we are making tangible changes to benefit all New Jerseyans. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to continue moving our state forward.”
Senator Gordon Johnson
“Looking forward to working with the Governor on addressing our archaic liquor license laws. We can do so much more to support our main streets across this state!”
Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald
“Governor Murphy’s State of the State underscored the strength of our economy and reaffirmed New Jersey as a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Together with the strong actions we have taken in the legislature over the past year, our economy is healthier now than it was before the Pandemic. This is evidenced by 31 months of consecutive job growth, an unemployment rate of 3.4%, and a budget that includes a record pension payment and surplus without any new taxes or fees. Most importantly, we have delivered on our promise of affordability through the ANCHOR program, affording 2 million residents and families real and much needed property tax relief. I am proud of what the Democratic majority has accomplished this past year, and I look forward to continuing our work with the Governor to ensure we maintain this extraordinary progress. “
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Majority Conference Leader
“Kicking off 2023 with Gov Murphy’s State of the State Address. In partnership, we have delivered for all working families — including, providing unprecedented property tax relief thanks to ANCHOR, and now all homeowners and tenants have until Feb. 28th, 2023 to apply! Looking forward to all the work we have left to do this year.”
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee
“On Tuesday, the Governor delivered a State of the State Address that reaffirmed that New Jersey continues to lead the nation. We have made tremendous strides in supporting New Jersey families with historic property tax relief through ANCHOR and we will continue to work together to make the state more affordable. I look forward to partnering with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to further this significant economic progress.”
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Asian Pacific American Caucus
“From providing an unprecedented level of property tax relief to New Jersey homeowners and tenants to buttressing transportation infrastructure, making childcare more accessible, protecting public health, fighting climate change, and growing our economy, our state continues to move forward because of the governor who is leading it. Over the last five years, it has been a privilege to work with Phil Murphy and witness the results that make him the most accomplished governor in history.”
Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter, Chair of the NJ Legislative Black Caucus
“From raising the minimum wage to working towards improving maternal health outcomes, Governor Murphy and the Legislature have tirelessly advocated for families across our state. Improvements in the Maternal Health rating as one of only 4 states in the country by March of Dimes” — that is evidence of the work of LBC members with First Lady and DOH along with health officers. As outlined by the Governor in his State of the State Address, we are setting New Jersey up for a more prosperous future, I look forward to the work we will accomplish together as we continue on our shared mission to make New Jersey stronger… And I look forward to the 2026 World Cup in NJ!”
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Speaker Pro Tempore
“Governor Phil Murphy State of the State address today! The Governor hit it out of the park.... #TeamMurphy #JerseyStrong #LD35.”
Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez
“’NJ is where opportunity lives…and where the American Dream is alive and well.’ Thank you, Governor Murphy, for outlining your vision for our State and what lies ahead. I am also enormously proud to have met with several Ukrainian frontline soldiers who are heroes.”
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka
"As highlighted by the Governor, the State of New Jersey is at a pivotal point. During this time, we must work to ensure that all of our residents are supported and given every opportunity to flourish and grow. The plans outlined by the Governor will not only allow for New Jersey residents to do so, but will support the expansion of business opportunities throughout the State. With the development of the Lionsgate production studio, which will be located in Newark, and the overhaul of the State’s antiquated liquor license legislation, our city will be able to create new job opportunities, new business development, and better support current residents and existing businesses.
“The City of Newark looks forward to supporting the Governor’s efforts in moving New Jersey into a future that is affordable, fairer, and stronger than before and continuing to advocate that the opportunity that is flourishing in New Jersey visits every household.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop
“Jersey City has become the economic backbone of the state with economic growth, housing development, attracting businesses small and large, and ultimately accruing state taxes that help alleviate financial burdens for all New Jersey residents, and so we are especially grateful that Governor Murphy is committed to furthering progress here in Hudson County. As the most diverse city in the nation, we are a city and county with diverse needs. Yesterday at the Statehouse, the Governor showed his full support for some of the pivotal projects and key investments to improve the quality of life for all Hudson County residents, including public education, social services, the Greenway, mass transit, and job creation. We look forward to seeing these through on the local level.”
Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora
“From raising the minimum wage to making our streets safer, Governor Murphy has delivered for the Capital City and urban municipalities throughout the state. It was an honor being present for his moving State of the State Address.”
New Jersey State League of Municipalities President and Millstone Mayor Raymond Heck
“Society has drastically changed since Franklin Roosevelt was president and New Jersey’s ability to issue liquor licenses needs to join the long list of those positive changes. A relic of post-prohibition reforms in the 1930s, New Jersey’s process to obtain a liquor license has been badly broken for many decades and we applaud Governor Murphy’s proposal. The League, and our Liquor License Reform Task Force, is eager to vigorously participate in this process, including the development of new consumption.”
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh
“Governor Murphy is a profile in courage and continues to prove it as he leads our state through this pandemic. His Administration has made significant strides in making New Jersey a fairer and stronger state.”
Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey CEO and President Staci Berger
“The Network commends Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver for their efforts to ensure that every New Jerseyan has access to a safe and affordable place to live. Last year, historic investments were made to create more affordable opportunities. The governor and legislative leaders must keep that momentum going so we can help to HouseNJ.
“Our state has been a leader in implementing policies that protect homeowners and renters during a recent vulnerable time in our nation’s history. There is much more to be done to expand on that work, much more to do if we are to truly achieve housing, health and racial justice. We look forward to working with the Murphy administration to realize these goals and make our state a place everyone can afford to call home.”
Moms Demand Action New Jersey Chapter Volunteer Jenifer Berrier Gonzalez
“We applaud Governor Murphy for being a champion for gun violence prevention. From taking steps to hold the gun industry accountable to recently signing a landmark concealed carry permitting bill into law — time and time again he has had our backs to pass life saving comprehensive gun safety laws. We look forward to working with him this upcoming session to continue to make our communities safe.”
N.J Chamber President and CEO Tom Bracken
“The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce applauds Gov. Phil Murphy for all his administration has been doing to prepare the New Jersey economy for 2023 and beyond – and we endorse his pro-New Jersey message. The state has a lot to be proud of and we have not leveraged those positives as much as we should. Today’s optimistic message will hopefully begin to reverse that.
“We appreciate that he highlighted in his State of the State the importance of improving transportation infrastructure, protecting tourism, preparing students for the workforce, growing the middle-class, and focusing on new industries that have the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs, such as offshore wind, cannabis and film and television production.
“We also thank the Murphy Administration for two recently signed pro-business initiatives that the Chamber supported and we hope it is the start of more to come.
“We agree with Gov. Murphy that we want new industries to call New Jersey home, but the ones already here need assistance.
“In these uncertain economic times featuring rising inflation, supply chain issues, the difficulty of finding and keeping workers and the fear of a recession, our state’s existing businesses – especially small ones – need more assistance.
“The governor highlighted progress but he also recognized challenges facing the business community, a message the Chamber has been pressing for quite some time. Our hope is that he will address the challenges we have been highlighting because providing more assistance will make what has been accomplished even stronger.”
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman Luis De La Hoz
“The SHCCNJ were pleased to have the opportunity to attend New Jersey Governor’s State of the State Address. We appreciate Governor Murphy’s commitment to strengthening our state’s economy. We look forward to working with the Governor and other officials to ensure a robust economic future for our state.”
Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino
"Governor Murphy's unmatched leadership on LGBTQ+ rights and social justice issues have made New Jersey one of the best states to live. It is because of this progress, as well as the historic economic investment taking place in the Garden State, the Murphy Administration is helping to build a future immeasurably better for so many in need. We are modeling for the nation what an accepting, progressive, and economically strong state looks like in 2023—making us all proud to be from Jersey.
"At a time when trans people are exploring options abroad, in places more accepting and safe, we're working hard in New Jersey to ensure they don't need to leave the country they call home and let them know New Jersey welcomes them."
New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition Executive Director Jenna Mellor
"Naloxone is a lifesaving medicine that is safe, easy to use, and most effective when it's widely available. The new Naloxone365 program will make sure that anyone in New Jersey can access naloxone directly from their pharmacy, without having to worry about cost. Thank you, Governor Murphy for lowering barriers to this lifesaving medicine and getting it directly to people who will save lives in every corner of the Garden State."
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak
“New Jersey LCV is pleased Governor Murphy is doubling down on offshore wind to power New Jersey’s homes and businesses with clean energy, create good local jobs that can’t be outsourced, and combat climate change. This past year he has shown a renewed focus on environmental justice, particularly by advancing the Essex-Hudson Greenway, which will expand access to open space and recreational opportunities to some of the densest and most underserved communities in the state. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Murphy and his team as we fight to protect every New Jerseyan’s right to clean air, safe drinking water, and access to open space and parks as we fight against climate change.”
ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha
"We have seen that when our state moves toward justice and inclusivity, we can make bold change. We've advocated tirelessly for equity and access for all in one of the most diverse states in the country, and this priority should be reflected in all aspects of our governance. This includes guaranteeing abortion access for all, expanding services and rights for immigrant communities, abolishing the drug war, and ending mass incarceration. It also means relying on data, not fear-mongering and bias. And it means embracing transformative policy, rather than transactional politics. We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and the Legislature to advance policies that truly meet the needs of New Jerseyans and make our state the national leader it can be."
NJEA President Sean Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty, and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robinson
“We commend Gov. Murphy for publicly recognizing the vital role that New Jersey’s public schools play in the current and future success of our state. Throughout his first five years in office, he has been a consistent champion of public education as the key to broad economic prosperity. He has consistently demonstrated respect for the profession and a commitment to listening to educators when setting education policy. We look forward to working with him in the coming year to further strengthen our best-in-the-nation public schools and to address the current challenges that face students and educators alike.
“In particular, we are encouraged that he took action in the fall to create a task force to address the current staffing crisis in our schools. This is a problem that has been building for many years, and it requires immediate, sustained action to address it. We urge the governor and legislative leaders to listen to the experts on that task force and to use the coming months to implement the proposals they come up with. Those solutions will help our schools remain America’s best and ensure that our students have the support they need to learn and grow, developing the skills necessary to succeed in life and to lead our state in the future.
“We also commend Gov. Murphy’s ongoing commitment to justice for all New Jersey residents. From making communities safer against the scourge of gun violence to increasing the minimum wage, to standing up for women’s rights, the environment and voting rights, he has consistently demonstrated a belief that the well-being of every New Jersey resident matters. As leaders of a justice-centered union, we are proud to support a broadly justice-centered plan of action for the state where our members and students live, learn and work.”
New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan
“We congratulate Governor Murphy on his accomplishments to grow the economy on behalf of New Jersey’s working families.
“We laud the Governor’s continued commitment to improving our public transportation, growing our shipping and port sectors, creating the new off-shore wind energy production and manufacturing sectors, growing the cannabis industry, and incentivizing the film and television industry.
“These important achievements will create thousands of union jobs across all sectors and trades for years to come.
“New Jersey is on the right path, and as we continue down that path, we look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to address the challenges facing working people.”