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Governor Phil Murphy

Week in NJ - September 15th, 2023


Governor Murphy Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 341, ordering U.S. and New Jersey flags to fly at half-staff on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 and Thursday, September 14, 2023 in honor of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. Fiordaliso passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, leaving behind a lasting legacy of public service and environmentalism. The flag lowering will coincide with Fiordaliso’s funeral services in Trenton and Livingston this week.

“For more than three decades, Joe exemplified the finest characteristics of a public servant in New Jersey: selflessly dedicated to the welfare of his local community, fiercely committed to his ideals, and endlessly hopeful for the future of our state,” said Governor Murphy. “These qualities were on display no more conspicuously than in his leadership of my Administration’s clean energy agenda, which Joe viewed as critical to fostering a more sustainable and healthier state that his children and grandchildren would one day inherit. While Tammy and I mourn this considerable loss alongside Papa Joe’s family – in Trenton and in Joe’s beloved Livingston – all U.S. and state flags will be lowered in honor of his remarkable legacy.”


Governor Murphy Announces Jacquelyn Suárez to Serve as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs

Governor Phil Murphy announced his intention to nominate Jacquelyn A. Suárez as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Suárez’s nomination follows the unexpected passing of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver in August, who had served as DCA Commissioner since the start of the Murphy Administration.

Suárez currently serves as Director of DCA’s Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) and, effective Monday, September 18, will serve as Acting Commissioner of the department pending her confirmation by the Senate, making her the first Hispanic Commissioner to lead DCA. Suárez will lead the department in its ongoing mission to provide residents, local governments, businesses, and community development organizations with financial support, administrative guidance, and technical assistance to help improve the quality of life for New Jersey families.

“Jacquelyn has skillfully served our state for many years – lending her expertise to important legal and policy matters affecting municipalities throughout New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “When local governments were faced with tremendous challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, she stepped up as head of the Division of Local Government Services and provided local leaders with the support they needed during a difficult time. While Sheila Oliver can never truly be replaced, Jacquelyn will undoubtedly carry on Sheila’s legacy of passionate, dedicated leadership of this department on behalf of New Jersey’s communities.”

“I would be remiss to not extend my deepest gratitude to Kim Holmes, who has played a vital role in leading the department over the last several years and swiftly stepped up to the plate to head the department in one of our state’s darkest times,” Governor Murphy continued. “I appreciate her remarkable leadership in the month following Sheila’s passing and her firm commitment to the critical work of the Department of Community Affairs.” 


U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $960,000 to Support Construction Business Development in Newark, New Jersey

This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $960,000 grant to The Enterprise Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to establish the Infrastructure Innovations and Business Opportunities Center in Newark, New Jersey.

This grant will connect socially and economically disadvantaged contractors and businesses to large-scale infrastructure projects in the region. This EDA grant will be matched with $240,000 in local funds, is expected to create 100 jobs, and generate $50 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to provide targeted, place-based grants designed to support local business development,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The new facilities will provide local contracting firms with the resources necessary to procure large-scale infrastructure projects in northern New Jersey and New York City, creating jobs and economic diversification in the region.”

“New Jersey thanks the Biden Administration for its significant support and looks forward to welcoming The Enterprise Center to the Garden State’s largest city,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This Economic Development Administration grant will generate tens of millions of dollars in private investment as we continue to modernize and bolster critical infrastructure in one of the most important transportation corridors in the world. Most importantly, the Infrastructure Innovations and Business Opportunities Center will complement my Administration’s efforts to expand economic opportunity by connecting historically disadvantaged contractors to projects and generating family-sustaining jobs.”


New Jersey Department of Health: Updated COVID-19 and Annual Flu Shots Offer Best Protections This Season

The new 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines reccomended yesterday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone ages 6 months and older will provide the most up-to-date protection against the virus and its variants as we move into the fall and winter holiday seasons. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) continues to encourage everyone to stay up to date on all of their immunizations – including an annual flu shot and an RSV vaccine, if they are eligible – as the best way to stay healthy and to avoid serious illness and hospitalization. 

The CDC’s action Tuesday follows recommendations from the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and regulatory action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“With rising cases, COVID-19 continues to remain a significant public health priority. This new vaccine provides updated protections and can be easily received at the same time as your annual flu shot,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Kaitlan Baston. “The Department will continue to work with providers across the state to make sure everyone who wants the added protection of the updated COVID-19 shot can easily access it, especially the state’s vulnerable populations and those who are under- or uninsured.”


Lieutenant Governor Way Announces Sam Parker as Chief of Staff

Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way announced that Sam Parker will serve as Chief of Staff to her, in her role as Lieutenant Governor. Parker currently serves as the Governor’s Director of Appointments and will continue to serve the Governor’s Office in this capacity while holding the title of Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor. 

“Since 2021, Sam has served in my Administration with fierce dedication and a steadfast commitment to furthering progress in the state,” said Governor Murphy. “Together, we have made significant strides in advancing our shared mission to ensure that our judiciary, as well as all appointed positions, reflect the rich diversity of our state. I am confident that her counsel and guidance will continue to be a tremendous asset to my partner in government as we move forward in this new chapter.”

“As I begin my role as Lieutenant Governor, I will work tirelessly each day on behalf of New Jersey’s residents, building upon Sheila Oliver’s remarkable legacy,” said Lieutenant Governor Way. “I look forward to working with Sam and thank her for joining me in this journey. I trust that her breadth of experience working in the Administration and background working in New Jersey will further our work to build a stronger and fairer state for every family.”