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Governor Phil Murphy

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Week in NJ - May 19th, 2023


Governor Murphy Announces Intention to Nominate Michael Noriega to Serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court

overnor Phil Murphy announced his intention to nominate Michael Noriega to the New Jersey Supreme Court to fill the seat of Associate Justice Barry Albin, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 on July 7, 2022. The nomination will first be sent to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee for approval. The Governor will then proceed with a formal nomination, subject to advice and consent in the Senate.

“I know that the individuals who are selected to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court will shape our state for decades to come,” said Governor Murphy. “As a former public defender and one of New Jersey’s most highly respected criminal defense and immigration law attorneys, Michael Noriega will bring extensive trial experience and a history of practice across our legal system to the judiciary. In addition to his qualifications, Michael’s character, integrity, and commitment to serving the cause of justice make him ideally-suited to serve on our state’s highest court.”
“Michael has dedicated his professional life to serving some of our most vulnerable members of society — especially immigrants with little familiarity navigating our complex legal system,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver. “The New Jersey Supreme Court holds a sacred responsibility as the ultimate layer of protection of the rights of New Jersey residents. I know Michael will bring his unique perspective and experiences to build on that storied tradition.”

“There are no words that can fully capture the tremendous privilege of being nominated to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court,” said Michael Noriega. “Our Supreme Court has received national recognition for its intellectual rigor and forward-thinking decisions and I promise to do everything in my power to continue that long and storied tradition. I would like to thank Governor Murphy for this incredible honor, as well as my family, friends, and colleagues who have shaped my life and career. I am also deeply grateful to Senator Bramnick for his supportive words at today's announcement, and to the whole Senate for their time and consideration of my nomination.”


Governor Murphy Signs Bill to Prevent the Illegal Sale and Purchase of Catalytic Converters

In a continued effort to combat auto thefts in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed S249/A2210, making it more difficult for bad actors to sell stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards and making it easier for law enforcement to identify, locate, and prosecute violators.

The bill is one of several steps included in a comprehensive plan the Governor announced in November 2022, comprised of proposed legislation and Administrative action to address auto theft. The bill, which implements certain guidelines concerning the sale and purchase of catalytic converters, will:

  • amend the definition of “scrap metal” to explicitly include all or part of a used catalytic converter that is not attached to a motor vehicle;
  • strengthen the verification of ownership in the process of selling used catalytic converters to scrap metal businesses by requiring the business to document the VIN, the certificate of title or registration, a receipt from a repair transaction, or a bill of sale at the time of purchase, and imposing fines on businesses that violate this requirement; and
  • allow only for scrap metal businesses to purchase used catalytic converters from persons other than a seller, that is a registered business that in the course of its regular business, collects, stores, or sells catalytic converters or other vehicle parts.

“Addressing catalytic converter theft is another method of combating auto theft and crime in our state. Residents who experience the violation of having a critical component of their vehicle stolen are forced to pay thousands of dollars to replace them,” said Governor Murphy. “We take serious the safety of our residents and communities and will continue to confront this issue head on to further the tremendous progress we have made in reducing auto thefts.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Allowing Mental Health Care Providers to Play a Crucial Role within Homeless Shelters

As part of ongoing efforts to address the mental health needs of New Jersey residents, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill (A-4755) to permit mental and behavioral health care providers to operate within emergency shelters that serve people experiencing homelessness.  

“The stress individuals often face when experiencing homelessness can unfortunately lead to or exacerbate existing mental health challenges,” said Governor Murphy. “This law reflects my Administration’s belief that every New Jerseyan deserves access to the mental health care they need and builds upon our work to expand these services throughout our state. Allowing mental and behavioral health care providers to offer critical services within shelters will provide much-needed care directly to more New Jerseyans.”

“People experiencing homelessness can face multiple barriers to safe and stable housing, including health challenges. This legislation makes it easier for people in emergency shelters to receive care, if they so choose, from behavioral and mental health care providers because it brings the care right to them,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “We’re hopeful that facilitating access to health care can improve the health of people experiencing homelessness and help them obtain long-term housing.”

“Mental illness and housing insecurity can often go hand-in-hand,” said Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “I thank the Governor for signing this legislation and commend the bill sponsors. Making behavioral health care accessible for unhoused individuals will make a meaningful difference in their lives and in our communities - and will help build better futures.” 


Governor Murphy Signs “Seinfeld Bill” Increasing Telemarketing Transparency

Governor Phil Murphy signed S921/A1545, also known as the “Seinfeld Bill,” which requires telemarketers to provide the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is made within 30 seconds of a call. In an effort to crack down on telemarketers, the bill takes inspiration from a scene in the hit NBC TV sitcom, Seinfeld.

“The famous Seinfeld scene where Jerry is irritated that telemarketers can call at any time, under any pretense, and without any kind of guidelines or consequences, makes light of a situation many New Jerseyans face every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign the ‘Seinfeld Bill’ and to establish much-needed transparency in telemarketing.” 


Governor Murphy Signs Joint Resolution Establishing “Day of the Girl” in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy signed a joint resolution SJR21/AJR167, designating October 11 of each year as the “Day of the Girl” in New Jersey. This joint resolution intends to raise public awareness about the "International Day of the Girl Child" and galvanize the support of New Jersey’s residents and community-based organizations to better girls' lives and provide them with equal opportunities to reach their full potential. The signing of this joint resolution underscores the Murphy Administration’s commitment to ensuring the participation, inclusion, and empowerment of New Jersey’s girls and women in all aspects of society.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished and the work we will continue to do to ensure that every girl and young woman knows that her future in New Jersey is limitless,” said Governor Murphy. “It is critical that in our pursuits to eradicate gender-based discrimination, we raise awareness about the many injustices faced by girls around the world. By establishing “Day of the Girl,” we recommit to removing roadblocks and dedicating the necessary resources so that our nation’s future leaders have the tools they need to succeed.”

“It is my core belief that everyone is born with God-given ability, but not everyone is born into a situation where they can fully cultivate their ability. Therefore, initiatives like the ‘Day of the Girl’ are important because they illuminate inequities that exist for girls and empower girls to advocate for equal opportunities, especially in education, so they can reach their full potential,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “This initiative also encourages girls to take pride in who they are and to dream big because big dreams lead to big achievements.”

“We are fully committed to ensuring New Jersey is a place where girls and women thrive in every field, from business to athletics, academia, politics, medicine, innovation, and beyond,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “While we have made significant progress in pay equity, representation and inclusion, there is still more work to be done to eliminate gender discrimination. The Day of the Girl is an important opportunity for New Jersey to elevate these issues and continue to move forward in our goal of reaching full gender equality.”