Governor Phil Murphy

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This Week In New Jersey: August 16, 2019


Governor Murphy Tours Water Distribution Center, Announces Enhanced Efforts to Ensure Access to Clean Water for Newark Residents

Governor Phil Murphy, alongside Mayor Ras Baraka, cabinet members, and local officials, toured  a bottled water distribution center in Newark and announced enhanced partnerships to promote access to clean water and conduct lead screenings for affected residents.
“Access to clean and safe drinking water is a fundamental right,” said Governor Murphy. “The State and City’s efforts, in tandem with University Hospital and our corporate partners, will ensure that Newark residents have access to bottled water. I urge residents – particularly pregnant woman, families with children under six, and especially those caring for infants – to access the free bottled water the City is providing.”
“Our priority is the health and welfare of all Newark residents, particularly the very young, pregnant women, and the elderly,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “Although there are only two homes where testing found that water filters are not working as expected, to be extremely cautious, we are providing bottled water to affected residents with lead service lines in their homes. We have distributed bottled water for the past two days. The City of Newark and the State of New Jersey are prepared to do everything possible to keep residents healthy.”

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Governor Murphy Launches Year Two of Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) Program

Governor Phil Murphy visited Middlesex County College, alongside Speaker Craig Coughlin, Executive Director David Socolow of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), and Deputy Secretary Diana Gonzalez of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), to encourage students to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application for New Jersey DREAMers by September 15, 2019 in order to be eligible for a Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG).

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue his or her dreams—whether you are a recent high school graduate or an older student changing your career,” said Governor Murphy. “Our community colleges play a critical role in helping our students build the skillsets they need to meet the demands of a growing and diverse 21st-century economy. CCOG grants provides a pathway to success for both our students and our state as a whole.”


NJ Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.3 Percent in July, Below National Rate

New Jersey’s unemployment rate, which set a record low of 3.5 percent for June, fell another 0.2 percentage point in July to 3.3 percent, the lowest monthly rate since statewide records began in 1976 and 0.4 percentage point below the national rate of 3.7 percent, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment levels were essentially unchanged over the month, as total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state decreased by 500 in July to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,202,000.

Looking at the longer term, over the year, July 2018 – July 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 48,300 jobs, with gains recorded in both the private (+47,600) and public (+700) sectors of the New Jersey economy. Since February 2010, the low point of the last recession, New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 408,700 jobs.


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Enhancing Animal Protections

Governor Phil Murphy signed A5527 into law, which will require certain long-term care facilities to submit outbreak response plans to the Department of Health. The legislation follows last year’s deadly Adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, a long-term care facility for severely ill children.

“Although nearly a year has passed since the tragic outbreak in Wanaque, we have not forgotten about the eleven children who were taken from us far too soon,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign legislation today requiring long-term care facilities to have outbreak plans in place to reduce the chances of a similar tragedy from ever happening again.”

“Breaches in infection control practices are a major contributing factor in the spread of disease in health care facilities,” said Acting Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Outbreak response plans help facilities remain aware of the need to contact and work with public health to implement practices to minimize further spread of disease.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Establish Marketing and Advertising Campaign for State Wineries and Viticulture Attractions

Governor Phil Murphy signed S1435, which will establish a marketing and advertising campaign for state wineries and viticulture attractions to promote and recognize New Jersey’s expanding wine industry. The legislation will raise awareness of wineries across the state and attract new visitors to enjoy New Jersey wines.   

“New Jersey’s wine industry is a fast-growing part of our tourism economy,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign this legislation that will support local businesses, encourage job creation, and welcome visitors to experience our incredible wineries.”