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Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in NJ - March 10th, 2023


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Authorizing Special License Plates For Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A978) recognizing the contributions and achievements of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. by establishing special license plates for members of the organization. Kappa Alpha Psi is the second oldest existing collegiate historically Black Greek Letter Fraternity and a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine. The legislation signed this week authorizes the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special Kappa Alpha Psi license plates. The bill provides that the design of the Kappa Alpha Psi license plate would display appropriate words and an emblem honoring the fraternity.

Governor Murphy was joined by Kappa Alpha Psi 34th Grand Polemarch Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., Northeastern Province Polemarch Christopher Thompkins, Polemarch Stephen White, Trenton Chapter Founding Member and Alumni Samuel Floyd, legislators, and Kappa Alpha Psi members, mentees, and alumni. 

“I am proud to sign legislation authorizing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to issue special license plates for the distinguished members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,” said Governor Murphy. “For 112 years, Kappa Alpha Psi has stood for progress, equality, and brotherhood. As a member of the Divine Nine, it has stood as a national leader in community service efforts large and small and its members have made invaluable contributions across every facet of society. Today, we commend Kappa Alpha Psi’s achievements as we establish this keepsake to be proudly displayed by its members.”

“The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is one of the most respected fraternities in the state and in the country because of its members’ dedication to brotherhood, community service, and strengthening civil rights,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “By establishing a Kappa Alpha Psi license plate, our state is recognizing this history of excellence and leadership, as well as members’ contributions to creating positive change in their communities and the country.” 


Governor Murphy Makes Appointments To The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board Of Directors

Governor Phil Murphy announced he will appoint Terence “Terry” O’Toole as Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Current Chairman Kevin Quinn, who has served since 2019, has informed the Governor that he is resigning to take a position in the Biden Administration in a senior role in the CHIPS Program Office within the Department of Commerce.

“Kevin Quinn’s thoughtful guidance has helped reposition the EDA to maximize opportunities in high-growth sectors and invest in our communities while upholding transparency, equity, and inclusiveness. I congratulate Kevin on his successful tenure as Board Chair and wish him success in his next endeavor,” said Governor Murphy. “I look forward to working with Terry O’Toole, who, alongside Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan, will continue to prioritize the creation of strategies and resources that will help New Jersey’s entrepreneurs, small businesses, and hardworking families thrive.”

In February Governor Murphy also appointed Jewell Antoine-Johnson as an alternate member on the EDA Board. Antoine-Johnson heads her own architectural planning and design and construction management firm based in Camden County. Governor Murphy also reappointed Virginia S. Bauer and Aisha Glover to the EDA Board, both of whom have served on the Board since 2019.


First Lady Tammy Murphy Delivers Remarks At Harriet Tubman Monument Unveiling In Newark

First Lady Tammy Murphy on Thursday delivered remarks at the Harriet Tubman Monument unveiling in Newark, New Jersey where she was joined by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, actress and New Jersey native Queen Latifah, Founder of Audibl Don Katz, among other notable guests. 

"There are many brilliant voices with us today, who I know will speak powerfully about the legacy that Harriet Tubman has left us as Americans," said First Lady Tammy Murphy. "To those testimonies, I would like to add this: there is nothing to be gained from hiding from our history. There is nothing patriotic in looking away from our nation’s original sin. On the contrary, it is only through facing the truth together that we can find a way forward. And, there is always a way forward. This statue reminds us of that truth – as does the partnership between the city of Newark and Audible in sharing the story of Harriet Tubman’s life and work and Newark’s role in Black liberation."


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation To Help Veterans More Easily Obtain Nursing Licensure While Addressing Critical Care Shortages, Second Bill Signed Into Law Honors Veterans' Sacrifices By Covering Burial Costs For More Veterans

As part of the Murphy Administration’s ongoing efforts to support veterans and their families throughout New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed two bills into law to ease the path for veterans with certain medical training to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and to expand eligibility for veterans with limited incomes to have their funerals covered by the government. 

“It is our duty as a State and as a society to support the veterans who have selflessly served in defense of our country,” said Governor Murphy. “These new laws will allow us to honor their sacrifices and ease the burden on their families by expanding eligibility for funeral costs that are covered by county governments. Additionally, we are making it easier for other veterans to obtain civilian employment as licensed practical nurses by recognizing the medical training they received during their time in the military, which will also help bolster our statewide health care system.”

Veterans who are unable to pay for their funerals may have the cost of their burial or cremation covered by the county government. To allow more veterans to qualify for this service, the first bill (A-2493) expands discharge classification eligibility criteria from veterans who were honorably discharged to any veteran who is discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.  The bill also clarifies income eligibility for these veterans as not exceeding 200 percent of the federal poverty level. To further expand where eligible veterans may be buried, the bill adds national cemeteries as a permissible burial sites.



New Jersey-Israel Commission Members Donate Over Three Tons Of Humanitarian Food Aid To Turkish Earthquake Victims

Following the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria leaving over 50,000 killed, tens of thousands of other casualties, and over 1.5 million people homeless, New Jersey-Israel Commission Members stepped up immediately to support those in need. Through the support of Commission Members, 3.6 tons of humanitarian food aid have been sent to Türkiye through an emergency cargo effort with coordination from the Consulate General of Türkiye in New York.

The New Jersey-Israel Commission stands in solidarity with those affected by this terrible and historic tragedy, especially in light of the close connectivity between the region and communities within the State of New Jersey. As humanitarian aid efforts continue across the state and around the world, the Commission remains dedicated, both at home and abroad, to extending a hand of friendship and support to those in need.

Commission Members Nathan Herzog and Abe Halberstam generously donated from their New Jersey-based food companies, including 5,800 pounds of assorted nonperishable kosher foods from Kayco and 1,400 pounds of self-heating kosher meals from Labriute Meals, respectively. Additionally, they assisted with the necessary logistics to ensure supplies arrived on time for deployment to Türkiye. The supplies are being delivered to Türkiye through a cargo ship which set sail from New Jersey carrying humanitarian aid.

“I applaud the New Jersey-Israel Commission for its generous donations and support to those who have been affected by the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Türkiye and Syria during this difficult time, and we are committed to providing all necessary support and assistance as they begin to rebuild and recover.”