One year after taking office, Gov. Phil Murphy’s first official State of the State address highlighted his administration’s challenges, achievements, and priorities while emphasizing the connection among education, infrastructure, and workforce development in getting the state back on the right track.
For NJEA members and their families, Gov. Murphy’s first budget demonstrated his commitment to funding public education, expanding access to pre-K for thousands of children, creating a pilot program for tuition-free community college, funding public employee pensions and health benefits, building economic opportunities for the middle class, and leading the charge on tax fairness.
Today, Gov. Murphy outlined a vision for the state that builds on that budget, and reaffirms his campaign promises.
“After just one year in office, it is remarkable the advances Gov. Murphy has already made in restoring a sense of confidence and fairness to state government,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “This was the vision that NJEA members were proud to get behind early in his campaign, and the fruits of those efforts are being realized thanks to increased investment in pre-K through higher education. His first state budget worked to keep our children as the priority, and we see that the governor intends to continue on as he has begun, which could not be better news for New Jersey’s children.”
“On day one, Gov. Murphy made a commitment to inclusiveness and fairness,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “As we know, change takes time, and he inherited a state government that by all indicators was headed in the wrong direction. It’s a testament to his vision and leadership that so much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time. We are so close to seeing real progress when it comes to the priorities of working families. Now is the time to unite behind his vision; one that recognizes the power of investing in our state’s middle class, particularly public school students.”
“The governor’s emphasis on the importance of creating union jobs in New Jersey could not be a more powerful indicator of his commitment to restoring the economic power of the middle class, and a marked change from the politics that have seen billions given away to corporate interests at the expense of the people,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “He backs that up by his demonstrated investment in public education, our students, and the public school employees who make our schools among the best in the nation. There is a real sense that New Jersey can be the economic powerhouse it always should have been, thanks to the governor’s emphasis on the power of public education.”
NJEA will continue to work with Gov. Murphy, his administration, legislators, and other stakeholders to ensure that New Jersey’s public schools and public school students remain a top priority.