Governor Phil Murphy

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This Week in NJ: October 16, 2020


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Extending Utility Shutoff Moratorium Through March 15, 2021

Governor Murphy announced the launch of the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, is now open to residents to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help ahead of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period that begins Nov. 1. New Jersey residents will no longer use to enroll in Marketplace health insurance plans. Instead, Marketplace plans and financial help will only be available through Get Covered New Jersey at

“Our administration has fought for improved access to quality affordable health coverage for residents based on the fundamental principle that health care is a right. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for all residents to have health coverage and there is no more important time than now for New Jersey to make the transition to its own health insurance Marketplace,” said Governor Murphy. “We are proud of the steps we have taken to support the Affordable Care Act and push back against attacks on the landmark law by the Trump Administration. Our policies improve affordability and access to coverage at a critical time. I urge residents who need health coverage to check out their options at Get Covered New Jersey now, before open enrollment starts.”

“Making sure uninsured and underinsured residents have access to quality affordable health coverage guided our work to establish a State-Based Marketplace. New Jerseyans now have a health insurance marketplace they can call their own. Get Covered New Jersey is a one-stop shop for health insurance tailored to meet the needs of our residents, and it is the only place where they can qualify for new state subsidies in addition to other types of financial help to lower the cost of their health plans,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride. “Through Get Covered New Jersey, residents who need health insurance will now have access to more financial help than ever before and more trained professionals who can help them find the plan that fits their needs and budget.” 


Governor Murphy Announces Leadership Transitions at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The New Jersey CEO Council, an informal coalition of CEOs from some of the state’s largest companies, announced it has pledged to hire or train more than 30,000 residents by 2030 and spend an additional $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025, and is challenging their peers in the business community to produce an additional 40,000 jobs and $250 million in local purchasing. Both efforts will focus on underrepresented communities of color and other underserved communities.

“This pledge from some of our state’s largest and most well-known corporations is a potential game-changer for communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic,” said Governor Phil Murphy.  “We want to thank each and every one of them for stepping up in a time of need, and challenge other companies throughout New Jersey to join this important effort.”

The coalition is challenging the rest of New Jersey’s corporate community to mirror their pledge and provide more inclusive opportunities to New Jersey residents by training or hiring an additional 40,000 workers from New Jersey by 2030, and by increasing spending with New Jersey-based businesses by another $250 million by 2025.


Governor Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, Legislative Leadership, and Congressional Representatives Announce Additional $100 Million for Covid-19 Economic Recovery

Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and Congressman Tom Malinowski announced $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program; an additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program; $15 million will go to support renters through the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and $5 million will support food banks and other hunger relief efforts. 

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before, it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact on many vulnerable New Jersey families and keeping a roof over their heads is our top priority,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The additional support we are providing will extend relief to tenants so they can focus their limited resources on staying safe and secure.”   

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and critical to the vitality and quality of life in our downtowns," said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “This $100 million aid package funded out of the federal CARES Act will help ensure the survival of thousands of small businesses, particularly the many restaurants that have had a hard time staying afloat even with outdoor dining and are now facing an uncertain winter. Our economic recovery depends on the ability of our small businesses to survive until an effective treatment and cure for the coronavirus can be found. Today marks an important step forward, but I know the Governor and Assembly Speaker join me in saying we need Washington to step up now with another stimulus package to keep us from sliding further into recession."

"Small businesses are an economic driver for our state and they need every bit of support we can provide," said Assembly Speaker Coughlin. “As we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this infusion of funding is critical. It protects jobs and our working families. Together, we will get through this."


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Extending Utility Shutoff Moratorium Through March 15, 2021

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 190, extending a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through at least March 15, 2021. The moratorium applies to all residential gas, electric and water utilities, both public and private. Further, the utilities will not be charging late fees nor fees to reconnect services that have been disconnected. The Order also requires that all residential services that were disconnected after social distancing measures went into effect on March 16 be reconnected. 

“New Jerseyans are hurting and many of our fellow state residents, who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic need help,” said Governor Murphy. “Extending the utility moratorium is the right thing to do as so many in our state struggle to pay their bills during one of the most devastating economic crises in the history of our country. As we enter the winter months it becomes even more imperative that we work with our state’s utilities keep the lights on and families warm.”

“Thank you to the Governor and to the utilities for taking an important step today to protect New Jersey residents who are facing dire financial circumstances and are unable to pay their utility bills,” said Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Now, nobody will fear losing service during the winter months. Please know as well that assistance and deferred payment programs are available to prevent bills from piling up over time. Help is here for those who need it.” 


Governor Murphy Announces Leadership Transitions at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Governor Phil Murphy announced a leadership transition at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA). Effective immediately, current DMAVA Deputy Adjutant General, Colonel Dr. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., will become Interim Adjutant General and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, replacing Major General Jemal J. Beale.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, despite significant challenges, DMAVA has worked to save lives and support our veterans,” said Governor Murphy. “Having served as a Field Surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan during the height of the conflicts and as a respected medical professional, Dr. Hou will provide invaluable leadership during the ongoing pandemic. We wish General Beale the best in his future endeavors.”

“It is an honor to be called upon to lead one of the greatest battles our department has ever faced,” said Colonel Dr. Lisa Hou, D.O. “Protecting our veterans and supporting our military personnel will be my priority today, and every day. We must all work together to defeat this pandemic and I am committed to doing everything possible to the lead the Department and the National Guard through this difficult period of time.”

Brigadier General Patrick M. Kennedy, current Assistant Adjutant General, will serve as Deputy Adjutant General.

Additionally, new Interim Administrators/CEOs will be named at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes at Paramus and Menlo Park.

Col (Ret.) Walter R. Nall, currently serving as the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, will take on the additional responsibilities of the Director of the Division of Veterans Healthcare Services, replacing Sean Van Lew.