In his inauguration speech, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy vowed to take the state in a new direction.
Murphy promises a stronger and fairer New Jersey that creates better jobs and provides higher wages, funds public schools and delivers on the promise of property tax relief.
Murphy says he’ll put his ideals into his first state budget in a few weeks, but believes there’s no need to wait for that to alter the state’s trajectory.
“To my partners in the legislature, I ask you to send me the bills among others to reaffirm our support for women’s health and Planned Parenthood. A bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A bill to tear down the barriers to voting. And a bill to strengthen our gun laws.”
Murphy embraces comprehensive criminal justice reform including a process to legalize marijuana, protecting hardworking immigrant families, and accepting the reality of climate change and investing aggressively in alternative energy.
“We can once again be the state that leads the nation in progressive policies and puts common sense and our residents first in line.”
Advocates are hoping New Jersey will be far different now that Murphy is Governor.
New Jersey Policy Perspective president Gordon MacInnes expects a lot will change.
“We’re going to get a pledge to assist millions of New Jerseyans who are hit by a low minimum wage, don’t have advantages when they get sick, where they need to take family leave the assistance isn’t great.”
New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittle says environmentalists are hoping Murphy is more receptive to their concerns.
“We have a governor who not only believes in climate change but wants to do something about it, wants to move New Jersey forward with green jobs, cares about protecting our air and water.”
State Chamber of Commerce president Tom Bracken believes Murphy will reach out to the business community to get input on how to grow the economy, create jobs, and make the state more affordable.