TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his State of the State address Tuesday, outlining his vision for the Garden State amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
Murphy's speech focused on how New Jersey will emerge from the pandemic, "stronger, fairer, and more resilient than before."
Watch the governor's State of the State speech below or click here.
Excerpts and highlights from Gov. Murphy’s State of the State speech:
'We're all in this together'
- Although deeply wounded, we enter 2021 tougher than ever and wiser than before.
- New Jersey was one of the first and hardest-hit states.
- Communities of color were disproportionately impacted.
- Now were in the midst of a second wave that is just as deadly.
- We are mounting a full-scale counter attack.
- My pledge to rebuild New Jersey from the middle out and from the bottom up is now more urgent than ever.
- Together we will continue to move forward.
Over the past three years, we’ve laid a foundation to support a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) January 12, 2021
From raising the minimum wage to expanding paid family leave to ensuring tax fairness, our accomplishments have helped people across our state. #NJSOTS pic.twitter.com/C4bQfu1abJ
- We have a place in plan to vaccinate every willing adult New Jersey resident.
- Six mega-sites and hundreds of additional locations are opening across the state.
- You can preregister for your vaccine online, even if you're not eligible yet.
- Learn more: covid19.nj.gov/vaccine
- "As our statewide vaccination program continues to grow, we will begin to see the light on the horizon get a little brighter," Murphy said.
Help for small businesses
- The pandemic slammed small businesses across America.
- The state’s economic focus has been squarely on helping hard-hit small business owners.
- Nearly 55,000 small businesses have received a grant or loan from the NJ EDA.
- “We haven’t faced an economic emergency like this since the Great Depression,” Murphy said. “With our new business and job-creating recovery plan, New Jersey has a model that sets the standards for inclusive statewide economic growth and job creation.”
New Jersey infrastructure projects
- The state beat the deadline for federally mandated train-safety technology by completing 11 years’ worth of work in less than three years.
- New Jersey also added 94 new rail engineers, and another 82 are in training.
- The new Portal Bridge is under construction along the Northeast Corridor.
- My administration is working with President-elect Joe Biden to ensure the Gateway Program is fulfilled, including new tunnels under the Hudson River.
- “Our future will be powered by clean energy – with a 100% clean energy economy by 2050,” Murphy said.
- The New Jersey Wind Port and a new manufacturing facility at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal have made New Jersey the nation’s offshore wind-energy leader.
A healthier New Jersey
"Together, we are making our health care system more transparent, more accessible, and more affordable," Murphy said.
Women’s health care
- The state is funding women’s health care and family-planning services after years of neglect.
- New Jersey will continue to protect women’s reproductive rights no matter what happens in Washington.
Criminal justice and police reform
- The state is implementing broad reforms to its law enforcement use-of-force policy.
- “I remain committed to eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug and property crimes,” Murphy said.
- Lawmakers are on the verge of passing a groundbreaking set of laws to reform the state’s approach to marijuana and cannabis.
- The recreational cannabis industry will promote the growth of new small businesses, with an emphasis on women, minorities, and veterans.
Rental assistance amid pandemic
- Nearly 20,000 households have received rental assistance from the state since the pandemic began.
- Murphy again calls on state lawmakers to pass legislation to give impacted tenants up to 30 months to make up for back rent.
- The state is working to make more down payment assistance available to would-be homebuyers, building more affordable housing units and battling homelessness.
- Murphy is working with the Legislature to enact in-person early voting
- “Your vote is your voice and this country is better off when more of us are heard,” he said.
- The state has added more than $750 million in direct classroom funding over the last three years.
- Ensuring students have the academic and social-emotional support needed amid the pandemic is a main focus.
- Direct funding is being given to schools that need the most help to get students back on track.
Easing burdens of COVID-19
- The state made child care more affordable for countless families.
- We remain committed to easing the burden of working parents.
- The state doubled-down on commitments to food banks helping families facing food insecurity.
- The state has made community college tuition-free for students from families with incomes under $65,000.
‘2020 was a year of deferred dreams’
- A new, post-COVID day is just beginning to dawn.
- Even in the darkest days, we stuck together.
- Because we did it together, 2021 can be the year when dreams are once again possible.