Phil Gregory

Statehouse Reporter

Phil has been the Statehouse Reporter in Trenton for both WBGO and WHYY in Philadelphia since 2009.

He’s a long-time reporter in the tri-state area. For 10 years he worked at Bloomberg Radio in New York City where he anchored coverage of several major events including the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 blackout. He also covered business and market news as a reporter from the New York Stock Exchange.

Phil is a native of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and started his broadcast career at WAEB in Allentown, PA where he advanced to become News Director. He was an award-winning reporter and anchor at radio stations WPTR, WFLY and WROW in Albany, NY and at WOBM in Toms River, NJ. Phil is a past President of the Empire State Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been a broadcast instructor at the New School of Contemporary Radio in Albany and at Monmouth University.

Outside of work he enjoys visiting historical, nature and entertainment sites.

Ways to Connect

A bill advanced by the Senate Labor Committee would expand New Jersey’s paid family leave program.

Dena Mottola Jaborska with New Jersey Citizen Action is pleased the legislation would increase the wage replacement rate when workers take family leave.

“Workers who are working at the lower income level will be able to get 90 percent of their salary. And workers who are at the higher earning level will be able to earn the average weekly wage in this state which is about $1200, and that is really what is considered minimally livable in our state.”

18 towns in New Jersey already prohibit smoking on their beaches. A bill advancing in the legislature would ban smoking on all public beaches in the state.

Senate Environment Committee chairman Bob Smith says a statewide ban would prevent beachgoers from being exposed to second-hand smoke and end the litter problem from the tens of thousands of cigarette butts that are left on the beaches every year.

Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation that allows unauthorized immigrants to apply for state financial aid to attend college.

The legislation will help hundreds of immigrants who grew up in the state and attended high school in New Jersey for at least three years.

Murphy says it’s a matter of fairness.

A Monmouth University poll finds that most Americans are not feeling like they’re reaping the benefits from recent growth in the nation’s economy.

44 percent of those surveyed by Monmouth University say their family has been helped by the economic upturn, while the majority say they’re not benefiting from it.

Poll director Patrick Murray says the middle class aren’t doing as well as the public expected when President Trump took office last year.

The first of the quarterly reports on gun crime statistics that Governor Murphy ordered to be made available to the public has been released.

Murphy says 77 percent of the guns used in crimes in New Jersey in the first quarter of this year came from out of state.

“The most, 83, did not travel far. They crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf is pushing his legislature and taking them to task for their failure to pass common sense gun safety laws and I applaud his efforts.”

The top Republican in the New Jersey Assembly is calling Governor Phil Murphy’s agenda extreme and scary and believes there will be a budget showdown.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick says Murphy’s budget plan that ramps up spending by 8 percent and calls for $1.6 billion in tax increases is dangerous to the vitality of the state.

“He is totally disconnected not only with us as Republicans, I believe he’s totally disconnected with Democrats as well and surely disconnected with the taxpayers.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is appointing Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield vice president Bill Castner as his senior advisor on firearms.

Murphy says Castner will make sure the administration is properly tracking progress in stopping the scourge of gun violence and help identify new innovative partnerships.

“We hope that in having a single point of confluence for all of our gun safety efforts we will be a model for our nation on smart policy and smarter programs.”

A package of bills advancing in the New Jersey legislature would hold companies more accountable when consumers’ personal information gets compromised.

Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Paul Moriarty says one of the bills would allow a parent or guardian to put a freeze on a child’s credit report...preventing new credit cards being opened in their names.

So far this year there have been 336 wildfires in New Jersey, and the spring fire season isn’t over yet.

State Fire Warden Gregory McLaughlin says the risk of woodlands fires is high now because the hot weather and low humidity causes combustible material on the forest floor to dry out quickly.

“People say it rained yesterday, how can it be a fire day? It’s because the soil in the Pinelands particularly is sandy and doesn’t hold much moisture and because the deciduous trees have not leafed out fully and they’re not providing shade yet.”

Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation to help New Jersey taxpayers get around federal tax code changes that limit deductions for state and local taxes.

The new law allows towns to create charitable funds that pay for local services and lets residents get credits for up to 90 percent of their donations to reduce their property tax bill.

Murphy says New Jersey joins 33 other states that have allowed credits in exchange for charitable contributions without interference from the Internal Revenue Service.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has until the end of the month to decide whether to sign a controversial bill to subsidize nuclear power plants.  A coalition of environmental, community, and business groups is urging him to conditionally veto it.

Environment New Jersey director Doug O’Malley says the bill on the governor’s desk is wrong headed.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed an executive order to find a way to stop employers from mis-classifying workers in an effort to subvert the law and cut costs. 

John Ballantyne is executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters. He says the misclassification of employees occurs when companies call their workers independent contractors.

A new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy requires all employers in New Jersey to provide paid sick days to their workers.

Murphy says New Jersey joins nine other states in providing the guarantee of paid sick leave.

“This is not just about doing what’s right for workers and their families. This is about doing the right the thing for our economy. Anywhere that this has been done has increased productivity and made the economy stronger.”

The law will take effect in October and will benefit more than a million New Jersey workers who don’t have paid sick time.

35,000 New Jersey state employees who had been working without a contract for three years will be getting a raise and some back pay.

A new contract the Communications Workers of American ratified with the Murphy administration calls for a two percent salary increase in August and another two percent raise in July of next year for the workers employed by the executive branch of state government.

It also calls for back pay for performance ‘step increases’ the Christie administration froze in 2015.

Republican Senator Tony Bucco says that could be expensive.

A bill advancing in the New Jersey legislature would create a pilot program to study the cultivation of industrial hemp and allow the licensing of growers and distributors.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora says hemp could be a viable agricultural crop in the state.

“While hemp may be a cousin of marijuana, it has absolutely no psychotropic value. People use it clothing, in rope, in food, in oils, shampoos.”

Senator Declan O’Scanlon says the restrictions on hemp date from a time when it was misunderstood.

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to raise the minimum age to buy rifles and shotguns in the state from 18 to 21.

Assemblyman Roy Freiman (says his bill would bring the purchase age in line with those for handguns and believes it would prevent gun violence.

“18 and 20-year-olds commit gun homicides as a rate nearly four times as high and adults 21 and older. And you look at the recent gun shootings that we’ve had across America and you look at the teens that have it, are there things that we can do?” 

New Jersey Transit might be seeking additional time to implement the Positive Train Control system that can automatically stop trains and prevent collisions.

NJ Transit executive director Kevin Corbett says a letter from the Federal Railroad Administration expressing concerns about the agency’s progress in implementing PTC by the December 31st deadline also mentioned a potential alternative schedule.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office is charging three more people with filing fraudulent applications for Superstorm Sandy relief funds.

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice director Elie Honig says the defendants are accused of obtaining loans and grants from a program designed for people who lost their primary home and it was actually their seasonal residence that suffered Sandy damage.

The Senate Ethics Committee has strongly admonished New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez for accepting gifts from a wealthy doctor and taking official actions related to his interests.

Political analysts don't expect it to have much of an effect on Menendez's re-election effort.

Federal prosecutors decided not to retry Menendez after a mistrial in his corruption case when jurors couldn't agree on a verdict.

Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison says the ethics committee’s action probably won't sway a lot of voters.

New Jersey lawmakers have some concerns about the $50 million Governor Murphy wants for a multi-year program to make community college tuition-free.

says that funding would help about 15,000 students who don’t have state and federal grants to cover the costs of attending community college.

The childhood autism rate continues to rise, and New Jersey's rate is the highest in the nation.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 59 children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2014, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez says prevalence in New jersey is nearly double the national rate, with about 3 percent of children in the state affected.

There are now more than 19,000 patients in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program and the recent addition of five qualifying conditions is expected to boost that number to more than 40,000 by the end of the next fiscal year.

Deputy Health Commissioner Jackie Cornell says they’re evaluating how many new medical marijuana dispensaries will be needed.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is highlighting the accomplishments of his first hundred days in office.

He says the changes he’s made are already having an impact on people’s lives.

“We’re fixing problems – from revamping a broken mass transit system, to beginning the task of fully funding our public schools both to create opportunity and to control property taxes, to protecting our environment and our economy.”

New Jersey’s top law enforcement official is preparing for the possible legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told lawmakers legalization would pose challenges for law enforcement.

“How do we assess drugged driving? What’s the metric for it? Do we have enough drug recognition experts to do this job?  Do we have to train up our officers on field sobriety testing procedures? Do we have to have more education and prevention efforts?

After years of vetoes by his predecessor, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed what he calls the most sweeping pay equity legislation in America.

“Closing the wage gap and ensuring that the only consideration literally the only consideration for deciding an employees pay is the job she was hired to do is not just a matter of fairness. But have no doubt it will also make our economy stronger" 

The Diane Allen Pay Equity Act is named for a former New Jersey state Senator who was a victim of pay discrimination.

An exotic East Asian tick that was not believed to exist in the United States until it was found in a pasture in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in November has survived the winter.

And officials are now trying to wipe it out.

Manoel Tamassia is the director of the New Jersey Agriculture Department’s Division of Animal Health. He says the Longhorned tick is known to transmit diseases in East Asia, but no disease has been detected in the ones found in the state.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says planned improvements will bring some relief for hundreds of thousands of New Jersey Transit bus riders.

Kevin Corbett is New Jersey Transit’s executive director. He says the agency is recruiting 40 additional bus drivers and taking other steps to minimize bus delays.

“These enhancements will involve the adjustment of running times along with some additional buses with the additional bus drivers needed to provide bus stop arrivals more in sync with the actual time points on the schedule.”

Historic preservation advocates say a decision by New Jersey's highest court will make it difficult for churches to get the money they need to renovate their architecturally-significant structures.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Religious Aid Clause of New Jersey's constitution prohibits using taxpayer funds to repair and restore churches.

Courtenay Mercer, the director of Preservation New Jersey, says churches often appear on the group's annual list of the 10 most endangered historical places in the state.

As New Jersey awaits a ruling from the United States Supreme Court on whether sports betting will be allowed in the state, a bill introduced in the legislature would set some regulations for that wagering.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli says the bill has some rudimentary points on the operation and licensing of sports wagering activities and will be expanded depending on what the Supreme Court decides.

A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require pet groomers to be trained and licensed.

Senator Kip Bateman says his bill is a response to the death of three dogs in the past five months while in the care of groomers.

“Dogs are members of people’s families. They’re loved ones. When you drop it off at a groomer, you suspect that they’re going to be treated well. And there’s been some horrible stories in recent weeks about individuals dropping off their pets only to get a phone call saying come pick up your dog, it’s dead. I mean that’s outrageous.”

Pages