Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy is announcing the first round of expanded funding for preschool programs in New Jersey.

Murphy says the $20.6 million for 31 school districts will increase or enhance pre-school programs for more than two thousand 3-and-4-year-olds in the Garden State.

“In some cases, improving or expanding means going from part day to full day or providing more services. In other cases, you’re going from not having it at all to a reality.”

Governor Phil Murphy is advising New Jersey residents to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.

Murphy says the remnants of Florence are expected to move into the area sometime between Saturday and Tuesday.

“If you look at the models that are predicting the track of this, we’re not going to get a direct hit. So it’ll be some about of rain and some amount of high winds and obviously you get concerned high tides as well mixing in that.”

The Governor says he’s hoping for the best, but the state is taking precautions.

New Jersey Governor Murphy says there will be an average 9.3 percent reduction in health insurance rates next year for consumers who purchase coverage from the state’s individual marketplace.

Murphy says the reduction results from laws he signed in May. They implement a reinsurance program next year and make New Jersey the first state to continue the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to buy health insurance or pay a penalty after that requirement was repealed at the federal level last year.

Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders in New Jersey say one of their priorities this fall is enacting legislation that would boost the state’s $8.60 an hour minimum wage to $15.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin says lawmakers are formulating a bill to do that but haven’t worked out all the specifics.

“We need to take a look at everything. There are differing views from all sorts of phases of the economy and segments of the population. We’re going to try to put together a bill that we know will pass.”

Governor Phil Murphy and members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation are seeking the Trump administration's support for completing the multi-billion billion Gateway tunnel between the Garden State and Manhattan.

Gateway Development Authority trustee Jerry Zaro says a new tunnel is needed because the existing two train tunnels under the Hudson River need repairs.

Governor Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders in New Jersey say they’ll take whatever steps they can to challenge a proposed IRS rules change that could block the state’s workaround of the federal $10,000 cap on state and local tax deduction. 

A state law enacted in response to federal tax code changes would allow resident to get a tax deduction for contributions to new charitable funds municipalities create to help pay for local services.

The latest poll numbers show New Jersey’s U-S Senate race is becoming more competitive.

Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow says Democrat incumbent Bob Menendez now has a slim 6 point lead over Republican challenger Bob Hugin. That’s down from the 17 point lead he had in March.

“Make no mistake Senator Menendez is still in the lead. And we should mention that 16 percent of voters who responded to the survey say they haven’t made up their minds.

So, there’s a long way to go.”

Legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy creates the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology.

Murphy says the 17-member-panel replaces a science and technology commission that was defunded in 2010.

“We’re getting back to our core mission of making New Jersey the home for cutting edge research and innovation that improves and saves lives, creates good jobs, and changes our world for the better.”

Michael Johnson, the CEO of biotechology company Visikol in Whitehouse Station, is excited about the new commission.

A bill signed into law by Governor Murphy expands the use of public-private partnerships to develop essential projects and grow the state’s economy.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says those partnerships helped colleges get private capital to build new facilities, and the bill he sponsored will give the state, county, and local governments more flexibility to advance critical infrastructure projects.

Flooding near Greenbriar senior community in Brick,NJ on Monday
Brick Police Department

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Murphy says the order allows the state to focus resources into communities most affected by recent flash flooding.

“The state is continuing to coordinate with county and local officials as well as volunteer organizations to meet the immediate needs of residents driven from their homes for shelter and emergency food and water.”

New Jersey's Senate is set to vote tomorrow on a proposed constitutional amendment that would change a key part of the state's budget-making process.

The governor's power to certify state revenues would be turned over to a three-member panel.

Senate President Steve Sweeney needs three-fifths of the legislature to support the measure to get it on the November ballot.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is launching two initiatives to spur the growth of high-tech companies in the state.

Murphy says the state Economic Development Authority will award $500,000 in grants to help innovative startups pay their rent at collaborative workspaces if the workspace commits to paying half the amount of the subsidy.

“An early-stage startup could enjoy the innovative ecosystem of a collaborative workspace including flexibility, networking, idea sharing, and mentorships for up to 18 months at only half the cost.”

New Jersey will be modifying its school funding formula for the first time in ten years.

Governor Phil Murphy has signed a law that adjusts state aid to public schools over seven years by reducing assistance to districts with declining student enrollment and providing more money to those with booming populations and large numbers of high-need students.

“We are making an historic reinvestment in our public schools and in our future. By fiscal year 2025 every district will receive the appropriate level of aid under the school funding formula.”

After the recent contentious fight over New Jersey’s new state budget, Governor Phil Murphy is now hoping to work with New Jersey legislative leaders to get approval of some of his top priorities by the end of the year.

Murphy says gradually boosting New Jersey’s $8.60 an hour minimum wage to $15 is one of things he wants lawmakers to pass.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has not decided yet whether he’ll sign a bill that would impose a 5-cent fee on plastic and paper shopping bags.

Murphy says he’s still considering the measure that would raise an estimated $23 million

for lead abatement programs.

“There was a sense because we didn’t include it in the budget that we had come out negatively on it. We didn’t include it in the budget because we felt like we had not had the time to assess it and really analyze it.”

Governor Phil Murphy says New Jersey is taking steps to phase out controversial  PARCC standardized testing.

Murphy says beginning in the upcoming school year the New Jersey Education Department will reduce the length of the tests in all grades by 25 percent.

“The Department will also ask the New Jersey State Board of Education to simplify and reduce the assessments necessary for high school graduation from six assessments to two, retaining only Algebra 1 and English Language Arts 10 as the two assessments.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders battled over which taxes to raise before finally reaching a deal that resulted in enactment of a new state budget.

Political analysts say that could have an impact on their future relations.

Senate President Steve Sweeney is glad the budget battle is over.

“I’m hoping that we can now move forward on a path where we all realize that we can’t get anything done without each other and that we work together.”

Just hours before the Saturday midnight deadline Governor Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders have reached a deal to get a new state budget enacted.

“There will be no shutdown. The parks and the beaches are open.”

Murphy says the agreement calls for an increase in the income tax rate for personal incomes of $5 million and above.

“We agree that we must ask the wealthiest New Jerseyans to pay their fair share to allow us to  ramp up our investments in school funding and property tax relief.”

Despite Governor Phil Murphy’s vow to veto it, the New Jersey legislature has passed a state budget that includes a two-year corporate tax surcharge instead of the millionaires’ tax and sales tax increase Murphy wanted to provide a sustainable source of revenue.

Senate President Steve Sweeney it’s frustrating the budget process is at this point.

“I have never seen an administration with a lack of focus and a lack of honesty the way they’ve handled this.”

The budget plan New Jersey Democratic leaders hope to pass tomorrow includes some changes in funding for public schools.

Parent and Chesterfield committeewoman Andrea Katz supports the lawmakers’ plan to limit reductions in state aid to school districts that have received more than required by the school funding formula and increase aid to underfunded districts.

“They lay out a path forward for everyone, for under-aided districts and for over-aided districts. And I just really wish the Governor would support it so we all know where we’re going next year.”

New Jersey legislative leaders are pressing ahead with their own state budget plan even after Governor Phil Murphy said he’d veto it.

Murphy says the budget Democratic leaders are advancing is based on gimmicks.

“I will not sign any budget based on numbers that I do not believe are sound and sustainable. And as we have reviewed the legislature’s proposals, I do not believe theirs are.”  

Senate President Steve Sweeney says lawmakers have been open to compromise and won’t be bullied into doing what the governor wants.

Legalized sports betting is now underway in New Jersey.

Governor Phil Murphy made the first wager at Monmouth Park in Oceanport.

“I’m betting $20 on Germany to win the World Cup and $20 on the Devils to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Let’s go.”

Several state lawmakers then joined hundreds of sports fans in placing their wagers.

Spring Lake resident Peter Kizenko was one of them.

“I’ve been looking forward to it for years. When you win now you don’t have to worry about people disappearing to get your money. Always a good thing.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he’s optimistic an agreement on a new state budget can be reached by the June 30th deadline even though he and lawmakers disagree on how to pay for it.

Murphy says he’s in deep discussions with legislative leaders and they’re committed to delivering a budget on time.

“I think the discussions have been constructive and they continue to be. They’re farther along on the investment side. But that doesn’t mean that the discussions on the revenue side are not constructive even though they may not be as farther along.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is making New Jersey’s strict gun laws even tougher. He’s signed a package of six new gun bills into law.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has been trying for years to get new gun safety laws enacted. She was among the lawmakers who joined Murphy at the signing ceremony.

“Really one of the most Important pieces of legislation in this package is that legislation that allows people who know someone is going to do harm to themselves or others, have a path to remove firearms from that person.”

 

Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation that allows sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks.

 

Murphy did not have a public ceremony to sign the bill. In a written statement, he said he’s thrilled to sign it because it means Atlantic City casino and racetracks throughout the state can attract new business and new fans.  He said it’s the right move for New Jersey and will strengthen the economy.

 

A day after the New Jersey legislature unanimously approved a bill to legalize sports betting, Governor Phil Murphy says he won’t be rushed into signing it.

Murphy says he’s giving the bill the same level of review as all other legislation that reaches his desk.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon can’t understand the delay.

Ratepayer subsidies totaling up to $300 million a year will help keep three nuclear plants open in South Jersey now that Governor Phil Murphy has signed the controversial legislation.

Murphy says the legislation will protect the viability of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants.

“To reach our clean energy goals we will need to keep these plants open and safely operational. They not only produce 40 percent of our power but as of today 90 percent of our clean energy.”

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.

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.”

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.”

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