Leaders, Organizations React To Governor Murphy’s State of State


Governor Murphy touched on a battery of issues in his 2020 State of the State Address.  Almost immediately, leaders from public and private sectors released their responses.  Below is a summary of some of those remarks.


  • Assemblyman John McKeon saluted the Governor’s speech on NJ Transit, saying, “The Governor’s announcement today furthers that effort by ensuring the agency has the resources and the proper plan necessary to grow and expand for the years to come. For the first time in the agency’s history, NJ TRANSIT will have a 10-year strategic and a 5-year capital plan.”


  • Sen. Joe Vitale praised the Governor in a statement on the Office of Healthcare Affordability and Transparency, saying “I agree with the Governor, health care is too expensive and health care coverage is far too complex and difficult to navigate. I thank the Governor for his commitment to improving the state of health care in New Jersey and I hope to work with his administration as they establish this office.”


  • Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) released a statement that “expressed concern that Gov. Phil Murphy’s State of the State address included no plan to improve affordability for New Jersey residents” and said “today we heard him call for more of the same.” Bucco said “He’s repeating the failed policies of Governors Corzine and McGreevey. The income tax increase that he’s talking about has been tried before. All it did was drive families from New Jersey. Contrary to Governor Murphy’s contention, tax increases do not improve affordability for all of our residents.”


  • Sen. Sandra Cunningham thanked the governor regarding his desire to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenders, saying, “I thank Governor Murphy for his commitment to enacting the reforms outlined by the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission, including the elimination of mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.  I look forward to working with the governor to get this to his desk so we can ensure our state’s criminal justice system provides equal treatment for all New Jerseyans.”


  • Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director for Garden State Equality, hailed the Governor’s speech in a statement, saying, “In two short years, we’ve made monumental strides as the second state in the nation to pass LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and the first in the nation to have a statewide Transgender Equality Task Force.”


  • NJ GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt said Trenton was “tone deaf” following the Governor’s speech and said, “For two years in a row, New Jersey leads the nation in the outmigration of people and jobs. Our kids can’t afford to start their lives here and our parents can’t afford to retire here. Meanwhile every debate out of Democrat controlled Trenton is over which tax to raise and by how much. New Jersey needs to live within its means. The solutions Republicans are offering will allow families to live here, not force them to leave.”


  • Jersey Water Works Steering Committee Co-Chairs Jane Kenny and Mark Mauriello saluted the Governor’s speech in a statement, saying, “We are pleased to see Governor Murphy continuing to elevate the importance of addressing lead holistically. Tackling lead is critical to the health of all New Jerseyans, but especially our children.”


  • N.J. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken released a statement, saying “The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce supports the Governor’s call for smart infrastructure spending, more responsible fiscal management in Trenton, increased shared services and investments in workforce development and education,” but added that “the Governor did not address the single largest issue preventing us from generating the “stronger” economy we all want – New Jersey’s affordability and competitiveness.”


  • ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha praised the Governor’s speech and touched on a number of points, hailing the “historic expansion” of rights.  “The laws we have passed, and the ones we strive to make reality, share a common theme: an expansion of power among communities who demand our democracy live up to its promises. The profound achievements of this year also remind us of the work ahead, because the work of expanding our civil rights is never finished.”


  • New Jersey Policy Perspective President Brandon McKoy said through a statement that “Turning away from the shortcuts of the past and towards long-term solutions that prioritize the next generation is the best way to move the state forward. As New Jersey works through the challenges created by the Great Recession, delivering a stronger economy for all requires authentically centering racial and gender equity. The governor fully embraced that fact throughout his remarks.”


  • SIEU said in a statement, “We support the Millionaires’ Tax because we need a permanent solution to the state budget crisis and the burden should not be put on working families.”  Additionally, “Our union also supports other measures that would advance the interests of working New Jerseyans, including sweeping environmental regulations such as the Green New Deal, immigration reform and more. Our union will back candidates with progressive values in 2020 who will stand with our members, understand their issues and uphold a strong democracy. New Jersey is going to work for all— not just the wealthy few.”


  • New Jersey Citizen Action’s Phyllis Salowe-Kaye praised the speech and said they support the millionaires tax and the establishment of the Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency.  “… we urge the state to put new revenue to work in innovative ways, such as through a public bank, which will help provide for communities and critical projects that suffer from underfunding. Enacting these reforms will enable us to continue to progress towards a New Jersey that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the politically connected.”


  • Food & Water Action State Director Matt Smith issued a statement saying Murphy’s speech on the environment was not enough.  “Building more offshore wind and solar power is absolutely necessary, but must be paired with policies that begin a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels. Re-joining a regional pollution trading system is not a sign of true leadership on the most pressing issue of our time. Governor Murphy must institute a full and complete moratorium on any and all dirty energy projects in New Jersey.”


  • New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach released a statement saying that several cities “are unable to develop housing and jumpstart their downtown redevelopment without the market rate subsidies that are tied up in the economic incentives debate. We were glad to hear that the governor is working to move this forward, but we recommend a bit more urgency, especially as it relates to the housing component.”  On lead, however, he commended Murphy, saying, “Funding for lead service line replacements and lead paint remediation is a critical next step to implement the governor’s comprehensive statewide plan on lead. “


  • NFIB State Director, Eileen Kean took issue with the Governor’s speech on the millionaires tax and but said, on workforce training, “The Governor’s desire to address the difficulty that companies have finding qualified workers for the available jobs should be applauded. That has been the number one concern for small businesses for several years now as the economy improved. But the rising cost of doing business in New Jersey due to ever-increasing taxes and costly labor mandates has kept small businesses back. It’s hard to grow and create new jobs in that environment.”


  • GSI’s Regina Egea blasted the speech on taxation, saying that the speech “did not confront the root cause of high property taxes – our government spends too much. Increasing ‘state aid’ does not fix the problem, it only masks it. It’s the fiscal equivalent of treating a broken bone with an aspirin.”


  • NJBIA warned against new taxes and seeking taxation as a solution to the state’s problems.  “New taxes of any kind will not address or solve New Jersey’s structural challenges. We simply cannot tax ourselves out of our pension liability and post-employment benefit obligations. New Jersey desperately needs a commitment to impactful fiscal reforms to ensure a stable future, instead of continued, excessive taxation heaped upon overburdened residents and businesses.  “Re-authorizing a new tax incentive program is the next big step, and it’s one Governor Murphy and the Legislature must take together. This urgency cannot be overstated. It should have appropriate oversight and regular reviews of effectiveness. But it also should be a strong, robust program to give New Jersey the competitive boost it sorely lacks right now.


  • The NJ Sierra Club blasted Murphy, saying “The Governor talked about some of his environmental accomplishments but that is what he does, he talks. We need to turn those words into action. The current administration does not get that there is a climate crisis and a sense of urgency in dealing with these issues. Murphy has moved forward on offshore wind, but that progress is undermined by his Energy Master Plan and the failure to put a moratorium on fossil fuel projects.”  On the lead crisis, the NJ Sierra Club was harsh as well, saying, “Governor Murphy may talk about lead but has not shown any leadership on the crisis. Murphy only signed one bill regarding removing old lead lines. His $500 million plan to mitigate the lead crisis will take years to get the bond act passed and put into place. His administration still have not identified a funding source.”


  • New Jersey LCV praised the Governor in a statement, saying, ““It is clear from today’s speech, Governor Phil Murphy, the ‘Greenest Governor in America,’ is continuing to make the environment a top priority in his administration. With an irresponsible deregulatory agenda underway in Washington, the accomplishments of the past year led by Governor Murphy have been key in keeping New Jersey’s environment, economy and communities healthy and thriving.”


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One response to “Leaders, Organizations React To Governor Murphy’s State of State”

  1. I, as a senior citizen in New Jersey applaud the most excellent State of the State Message. Our Governor Phil Murphy truly has the health, safety and well being of every person in NJ in his heart and more importantly his actions. His concern with the environment, the education of all, the effort to move forward with the Millionaire’s tax, women’s rights and maternal health, hate crimes, health care, the opioid epidemic, workforce development, employment, property taxes is beyond compare. I attended the First Lady’s Family Festival on January 11, 2020 where our First Lady is moving forward with the agendas to ensure health and human services for all. We are most fortunate to have Governor Phil Murphy at the helm in our fair state.

    Bob Knapp, Jersey City

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