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This Week In New Jersey: May 5th, 2023


Governor Murphy Highlights Proposed $10 Million For Firefighter Grant Program

Governor Phil Murphy visited Paramus Fire Company 3 to highlight his proposed addition of $10 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for Fiscal Year 2024 to support the continuation of the Firefighter Grant Program, which first launched in May 2022. The ARP Firefighter Grant Program provides funding to local and regional fire departments across New Jersey to ensure firefighters have proper protective, cleaning, and sanitization equipment.

“The firefighters of our state provide an essential service and they deserve to do so with the best equipment the market has to offer. That is why I was pleased to announce an additional $10 million dollars towards the American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program in my proposed budget,” said Governor Murphy. “Our first responders risk their lives daily to make sure our communities are safe and healthy, and this Administration will continue to prioritize their needs to keep them safe while they do their jobs.”


KBRA Boosts New Jersey’s Bond Rating

For the fourth time in less than a month a major ratings agency has upgraded New Jersey’s credit rating, as Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) this week boosted the state to ‘A+’ from ‘A’.

The move by KBRA follows similar upgrades from Moody’s Investor Service, S&P Global Ratings, and Fitch Ratings, each of which upped the rating on the State’s general obligation bonds in April.

“This upgrade from KBRA makes it a grand slam for New Jersey’s bond rating and is proof positive that our efforts to budget responsibly have paid off,” said Governor Phil Murphy.  “A lot of hard work has gone into this series of upgrades, and we are well-prepared to weather any storms.”

“The latest upgrade is further recognition that the work we have put into responsible budgeting, including record pension payments and an unprecedented level of surplus, has been noticed, and we’re gratified that the rating agencies have acknowledged these actions,” said Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio


Governor Murphy and AG Platkin Announce 100% Participation by NJ Counties and Municipalities in $20.1 Billion Nationwide Opioid Settlements with CVS, Walgreens, Walmart Pharmacies, and Two Drug Makers Teva and Allergan

Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced that all 21 counties and all 241 municipalities in New Jersey eligible for direct distributions have joined the State in signing onto the nationwide settlement agreements with pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, and drug makers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan, to resolve claims involving their alleged roles in fomenting the country’s opioid crisis.

 If the proposed settlements are approved, the Murphy Administration will have secured over $1 billion through investigation and litigation for New Jersey and its communities to spend in combatting the opioid epidemic.

“While thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their lives to the opioid epidemic and thousands of others continue to struggle with opioid addiction, these large corporations and drug makers profited from the pain and struggle of our communities. While this settlement does not bring our loved ones back, it will bring resources to the state that will support programs and initiatives that save lives,” said Governor Murphy. “I thank Attorney General Platkin and his office for their work on delivering these settlements to our state. This Administration will continue to prioritize and support our residents with substance use disorders.”


“I thank the counties and municipalities across New Jersey for working with us to ensure our state is on track to receive the maximum available funding from these settlements,” said Attorney General Platkin.  “No amount of money can bring back the lives lost or undo the suffering caused by the addiction epidemic, but the funding we receive will provide critical support through prevention, treatment, and recovery services and programs that help us heal and move forward.”


Governor Murphy Signs Joint Resolution Establishing “Muslim Heritage Month” in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy  hosted an Eid Celebration at Drumthwacket, marking the end of Ramadan. During the celebration, Governor Murphy signed a joint resolution (SJR105/ AJR194) designating the month of January as “Muslim Heritage Month” in New Jersey. Building on Governor Murphy’s and the Legislature’s shared commitment to recognizing the importance of the many religious and cultural traditions of New Jersey’s residents, this designation aims to promote awareness and appreciation of the many contributions of the state’s Muslim community.

“New Jersey greatly benefits from the patriotism, philanthropy, advocacy, civic engagement, business, and culture of Muslim Americans and Muslim American organizations in our state,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to designate January of each year as Muslim Heritage Month as it will shine a light on the rich histories, cultures, and shared principles of Muslim Americans. New Jersey takes great pride in its diversity and we will continue to recognize and celebrate the positive impact Muslims have made, and continue to make, to the advancement of this state.” 


In Celebration of National Small Business Week, NJEDA Highlights $85M in Small Business Support Provided by Comprehensive Package of Products

In recognition of National Small Business Week (April 30 – May 6,) the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced it has issued $85 million in grants and loans to over 2,300 small businesses since the launch of the Main Street Recovery Program in October 2021. Created under Governor Murphy’s Economic Recovery Act (ERA) of 2020, the Main Street Recovery Program provides a comprehensive suite of products designed to support New Jersey small businesses.


“From Cape May to Sussex County, small businesses serve as the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, and especially during the COVID pandemic, supporting our main streets was an essential component of ensuring the sustained vibrancy of our communities and their economic resiliency.” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Under the Main Street Recovery Program, New Jersey continues to invest in our small businesses and their owners, ensuring that our state and local economies continue to thrive today, tomorrow, and for years to come.”