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Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in NJ - April 12th, 2024


New Jersey's Inaugural AI Summit Hosted by Princeton University and the Murphy Administration

On Thursday, April 11, Princeton University and the Murphy Administration hosted New Jersey's inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit. Industry leaders, policy makers, educators, and more convened at Princeton's Alexander Hall to exchange expertise and coordinate on AI developments. New Jersey is effectively accelerating towards becoming a national leader in artificial intelligence across fields including health, finance, energy, and technology.

This collaboration is a continuation of the existing AI partnership, cemented back in December when Governor Murphy and Princeton University President Eisgruber announced plans to launch an AI Hub. Earlier this week, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that the highly anticipated Hub is moving full speed ahead. The NJEDA is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) in order to obtain input on best practices and operational insights for the Hub's creation and development.


NJEDA Board Approves Anchor Tenants for Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved three anchor tenants to lead the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center (MIHIC) in Trenton. These entities, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Capital Health; and Trenton Health Team, will work collaboratively to provide services focused on addressing a myriad of issues around maternal and infant health in Trenton and across New Jersey, including pre- and post-natal clinical services; education programs to cultivate the perinatal workforce; and social and wrap-around services. The NJEDA is developing the MIHIC in partnership with the Office of First Lady Tammy Murphy and the newly established Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority (MIHIA) which will oversee the MIHIC’s day-to-day operations long term.

“The Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center will truly be a one-of-a-kind hub for developing groundbreaking solutions to our maternal health crisis and ensuring we address the inequities in health care once and for all,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “At the same time, this center will provide critical maternal and infant health services to Trenton and New Jersey residents, transforming the maternal health landscape locally, across our state, and ultimately, we hope, for the nation. Most importantly, the Center and the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority will continue our vital work long after the Murphy administration, ensuring all New Jersey moms and babies are able to receive the highest quality care for generations to come, and helping us reach our goal and becoming the safest state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby.”

To ensure the MIHIC meets the needs of the Trenton community, the NJEDA partnered with the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University to lead community engagement efforts to inform the development of the Center. The Watson Institute has been leading an interactive, iterative, and open dialogue process with Trenton residents and stakeholders to better understand current programs and service offerings for expectant mothers and infants as well as gaps in service, opportunities to leverage existing community assets, and an ideal location for Trenton residents. This ongoing community engagement process will play a key role in informing the Center’s design and service delivery models, working in partnership with the Lead tenants, MIHIA and NJEDA.


NJBPU’S Digital Equity Plan is Accepted by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce – National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) on the State’s Digital Equity Plan, bringing fast speed internet one step closer to all New Jerseyans. Under the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, NTIA awarded New Jersey $1,176,741 in October 2022 to develop a Digital Equity plan aimed at breaking down barriers to digital connectivity. 

The NTIA also announced that New Jersey is eligible to apply for just over $18 million from their recently unveiled Digital Equity Capacity Grant for states, designed to help states begin implementation of their Digital Equity Plan.

"President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in New Jersey and across America has access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Commerce’s work building high-speed Internet infrastructure is only part of the equation. Families in New Jersey need the tools and skills required to make the most of that Internet connection, and that’s the $18.0 million opportunity we’re announcing today. President Biden’s digital equity initiative will make the promise of the Internet come alive for everyone in New Jersey, no matter where they live or what their background is."

“I want to thank President Biden, Secretary Raimondo, Administrator Davidson, and our congressional delegation for providing transformative investments for our communities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “One of our foremost goals, post-COVID, is building resiliency, and that starts with equity. COVID laid bare the stark digital disparities that exist in certain communities, particularly for our students. Ensuring that every resident has access to the basic tools needed to start off on equal footing in today’s world will help set them up for better success in life.” 

“Thank you to the Biden Administration and the NTIA for their ongoing support of our efforts to bridge the digital divide across the Garden State,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “The approved plan will build upon our progress toward addressing disparities in digital access, skills, and affordability, particularly in our underserved communities.”


Governor Murphy, Commissioner LaTourette Statements on U.S. EPA’s Landmark Adoption of Federal PFAS Standards

Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette issued the following statements on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark adoption of federal PFAS standards:

“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for establishing national drinking water standards that will protect the health of all Americans from exposure to dangerous PFAS forever chemicals,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “New Jersey commends USEPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and his team for these actions and we share our gratitude for their considering groundbreaking PFAS science led by our Drinking Water Quality Institute, and experts like New Jersey's own Dr. Gloria Post, Ph.D., who the Administrator graciously invited to serve on his Science Advisory Board. While PFAS present a continuing challenge to New Jersey's water supplies, added support from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has enabled New Jersey to provide its water systems with the low-cost financing needed to make upgrades that will reduce PFAS exposure, protect the health of New Jersey families, and ensure that businesses who too rely upon clean water continue to thrive in the Garden State.”

“Only strong nationwide standards can ensure that every single American gets clean, safe drinking water free from PFAS forever chemicals that can endanger our health,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “As these persistent chemicals have wrought havoc upon communities across the nation, the polluters responsible for creating them have left their mess behind for the public to clean up. It takes bold, thoughtful action to confront such a pervasive environmental and public health dilemma. But, thanks to President Biden, Administrator Regan, and the USEPA professionals dedicated to protecting our health and environment, these new standards will ensure that no community will be left exposed to these dangerous PFAS chemicals in their public drinking water supplies.”


RetireReady NJ Seeks Employers to Participate in Spring 2024 Pilot Program

RetireReady NJ, the first State-administered retirement savings program, is seeking employers to participate in its pilot launch that is scheduled to begin in spring 2024.

RetireReady NJ will provide private sector businesses, with 25 or more employees, the opportunity to help employees save for retirement via convenient payroll deductions to a Roth or Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The program was created by the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Act with the goal to reach workers who do not have access to a private employer retirement plan.

"We have been working tirelessly with our partners in the Legislature to help millions of families feel more financially secure in nearly every facet of life and saving for retirement is paramount to that sense of security," said Governor Phil Murphy. We're proud to begin launching RetireReadyNJ so that every worker – whether they are a public or private sector employee – has the ability to prepare for a dignified retirement. I encourage employers to take part in this pilot to help pave the way for a statewide rollout of this program for nearly every New Jerseyan."

"Saving for retirement is critically important for all employees, but too often, many who work for small businesses don't have a simple way to set aside these savings," said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. "By launching RetireReady NJ, we hope to ensure that many more employees in New Jersey have the opportunity to save for the future."

"I am very excited to be a part of the launch of RetireReady NJ. This program will provide a valuable benefit to many New Jerseyans who previously may not have had access to a retirement savings plan," said Todd Hassler, Executive Director of the Secure Choice Savings Board.

By participating in the program, employers can offer valuable benefits to attract and retain employees at no cost. There are no fiduciary responsibilities for the employers and the program offers an easy integration into the existing payroll system.