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Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in NJ - June 7th, 2024


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Mandating Access to Periodic Cancer Screenings for Firefighters

Governor Murphy signed legislation that mandates access to periodic cancer screening examinations for firefighters who are not enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP), but who are eligible for enrollment in the SHBP by public employment. 

Current law entitles a paid, full-time firefighter enrolled in the SHBP or a firefighter employed by a public employer that does not participate in the SHBP, to a cancer screening examination every three years. 

This bill (S2890) now extends this benefit to firefighters who waive their employer-sponsored health care but are still eligible for coverage under the SHBP through their employment with a public employer. The State will now reimburse up to $1,250 per three-year period for each firefighter’s examination, regardless of their participation in their employer’s health care plan.

"Thousands of firefighters across the state put their lives on the line for their communities," said Governor Murphy. "We must do what we can to provide these incredible men and women with the health care they deserve. Preventive cancer screenings will not only save lives and reduce unnecessary suffering, but also ensure our public servants remain healthy."

"This law will help ensure our firefighters, who are regularly exposed to carcinogens through their line of work, will always have access to periodic cancer screenings," said Senator Greenstein. "Previous law left a portion of our firefighters out of this guaranteed coverage, unnecessarily leaving them at higher risk. With this reform, they will be better protected and more incentivized to obtain preventative care, which will save lives." 

“Early detection can make a real difference in the outcome of a cancer diagnosis,” said Senator Joe Cryan. “These cancer screenings can save lives, prevent needless suffering, and avoid costly treatment. The firefighters who serve our communities and protect our residents have more than earned the right for this care. This law will provide more incentive and support to have this preventive care done.”


Statement by Governor Murphy on Governor Hochul's Decision to Pause the Implementation of Congestion Pricing

Following Governor Hochul's congestion pricing announcement on Wednesday, Governor Murphy released the following statement:

“I want to thank Governor Hochul for pausing the implementation of congestion pricing in Manhattan’s Central Business District.

“Although we have had a difference of opinion with our colleagues in New York on congestion pricing implementation, we have always had a shared vision for growing our regional economy, investing in infrastructure, protecting our environment, and creating good-paying jobs on both sides of the Hudson River. We fully embrace the notion that the success of Manhattan is inextricably linked to the prosperity of the entire Tri-State Area.

“Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams have been strong, collaborative governing partners and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them for the benefit of all of our residents.”

"I’d also like to thank Congressman Josh Gottheimer for his strong partnership and advocacy over the years on this issue."


Murphy Administration Builds on Progress Enhancing Computer Science Education; Announces Nearly $1.8 Million in Grants to Expand Computer Science Programs in New Jersey Schools

Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer announced awards of $1.79 million for two grants to expand computer science in schools. One grant will help 27 school districts and charter schools establish or expand high-quality computer science courses in the high school grades, and the other grant will fund three Computer Science Hubs for teacher training operated by three colleges and universities.

The two grants – Expanding Computer Science Professional Learning and Expanding Computer Science High School Courses – were funded through the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Of particular note, 17 of the 27 school districts and charter schools receiving the Expanding Computer Science High School Courses Grant have specifically tailored their programs to cybersecurity and/or Artificial Intelligence (AI), complementing the goals of the “AI Moonshot” the Governor announced earlier this year to establish New Jersey as a home base for AI-powered discoveries to create new economic opportunities and jobs in the industries of tomorrow.

“These grants will better prepare New Jersey students to thrive in today’s information-driven economy by providing greater access to high-quality computer science and technological design education,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “New Jersey is ripe for this kind of innovation in our schools. We have the talent, the infrastructure, and the job market that will fuel opportunities for students across the state.”

“The goals of these grants are foundational elements in the vision set forth in the Computer Science State Plan that the Department unveiled five years ago,” said Acting Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer. “We know experience in computer science and design thinking can lead to high-demand and innovative careers. These skills can greatly advance opportunities after high school, and that is why we believe it is an educational imperative to expand offerings of these courses.”

New Jersey averaged 13,300 open computing jobs each month last year with an average salary of $96,251, according to the 2023 State of Computer Science Education report by While 57.5 percent of high schools nationally offer computer science, 82 percent of New Jersey high schools currently offer such coursework – an increase from 59 percent in 2017-2018.


Governor Murphy and Maj. Gen. Hou Remember Fallen NJ National Guard Members

Governor Phil Murphy and Major General Lisa Hou, the Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard and the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, issued statements in remembrance of four New Jersey National Guard members who were killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom 20 years ago.

“Today marks 20 years since the war in Iraq tragically claimed the lives of four New Jersey National Guard members. In just two days, we lost four exceptional Soldiers, irrevocably changing the lives of their families and loved ones. As the first and only New Jersey National Guard casualties in Iraq, the losses of Staff Sgts. Frank Carvill and Humberto Timoteo, Sgt. Ryan Doltz, and Spc. Christopher Duffy were devastating to our state’s military community,” said Governor Murphy. “Twenty years after these servicemembers made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our state and country, we continue to honor their valiance, bravery, and courage. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our fallen heroes, and today honor four of our bravest.”

“On the twentieth anniversary of June 4th and June 5th, we hold dear the memories of our four brothers in arms. Together with their families and comrades, we honor and remember their sacrifice,” said Maj. Gen. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Adjutant General of New Jersey. “We will never forget.”

On June 4, 2004, an IED ambush claimed the lives of Staff Sgt. Frank Carvill, of Carlstadt, and Spc. Christopher Duffy, of Brick. Staff Sgt. Humberto Timoteo, of Newark, and Sgt. Ryan Doltz, of Mine Hill, were killed in a separate IED attack on June 5, 2004. The Soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion of the 112th Field Artillery, and they were the only New Jersey National Guard members to be killed in action in Iraq.


Murphy Administration Proposes Removing Bald Eagle and Osprey From New Jersey’s Endangered Species List

The Murphy Administration is proposing to remove the bald eagle and osprey from the state’s list of endangered species, reflecting decades of work to restore these iconic birds to New Jersey’s landscape, Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced.

The proposed de-listing is contained within a Department of Environmental Protection rule proposal published in the New Jersey Register and is based on a finding that populations of these birds have recovered to the point where the survival of these species in the state is no longer in jeopardy.

The rule proposal makes additions, deletions and conservation status updates to the state’s endangered species list and list of nongame wildlife. It also restructures the state’s endangered species list to be consistent with legislative intent. The DEP will accept public comment on the rule proposal through August 2, 2024.

“The de-listing of eagles and ospreys is a milestone in the history of wildlife conservation in New Jersey and is a testament to the dedication of DEP professionals and volunteers who over the years stood watch over nests in all forms of weather, nurtured hatchlings, and worked tirelessly to educate the public about the importance of sustaining wildlife diversity,” said Commissioner LaTourette.

“Because of their efforts, people across the state today can thrill at the sight of bald eagles gliding above their massive tree-top nests or ospreys diving into a coastal creek to snare a fish,” Commissioner LaTourette continued. “While we celebrate these successes, we must remain vigilant in ensuring that these species continue to thrive and be ever mindful that endangered species continue to need our help.”

“The recovery of these species from near extirpation during the 1980s in New Jersey is a dramatic example of what is possible when regulations, science, and public commitment come together for a common purpose,” said David Golden, Assistant Commissioner of NJDEP Fish & Wildlife.  “With focused attention on other species of greatest conservation need, future recovery success stories are also possible.”