Tuesday, January 15, in Trenton, Governor Murphy delivered his first State of the State message to the Legislature and the people of New Jersey. His central message was focused on progress made and prospect to create more opportunities for economic improvement and for social progress. He called for ‘a new approach that reaches deep into every community and puts growing and sustaining a thriving middle-class before anything, or anyone, else. … Those who have been left out must be lifted up. Those who work hard must have their effort repaid. And those who are doing well should see a path to doing better.’
Noting the deficiencies of previous tax incentive programs, the Governor advocated for incentives for businesses that ‘invest in their employees through skills development and training, and that cares about growing innovative and promising small and medium-sized companies. The Governor singled out Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp for his plans to use the Opportunity Zone program to help realize their municipalities’ potential.
The Governor recognized our State infrastructure needs, promising a continued commitment to fixing New Jersey Transit. He also noted the need to rebuild and modernize of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure, citing the leadership of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on this issue.
In the short term, the Governor hopes to see action on an increased minimum wage and recreational marijuana legalization.
The Governor stated, ‘…the more time I spend outside Trenton the more I learn that all answers do not come from Trenton.’ Through the League, Mayors from all around New Jersey stand ready to help the Governor find the answers he needs to make the State a stronger and fairer place.
In the Republican response, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick specifically referenced the need to restore the 2% cap on interest arbitration awards.
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