Governor Phil Murphy

This Week In New Jersey: May 8th, 2020


Governor Murphy Announces That Schools Will Remain Closed Through the End of the Academic Year

Citing the need to protect the health of New Jersey’s 1.6 million public and private school students as well as thousands of educators and support staff, Governor Phil Murphy announced that statewide school closures will be extended through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Private schools with longer academic years will remain closed until at least June 30.

While the prohibition of in-person instruction will be maintained through the end of the school year, public schools will continue to provide remote learning for students to allow districts to meet the state-required minimum of 180 instruction days.

“This is a difficult decision and I know that many students, parents, and staff would like to be able to return to school,” said Governor Murphy. “However, I have been unwavering on the message that we need to make decisions based on science, not emotion. And while New Jersey is making great strides in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, science tells us that at this point, we can’t safely re-open our schools.”

“I commend Governor Murphy’s thoughtful, deliberative approach that takes into account the concerns of school administrators, teachers, and other stakeholders in the education community,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “However, the most compelling factor guiding today’s decision is the health of New Jersey’s students and educators, and their families.”


Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, Governor Lamont, Governor Wolf, Governor Carney, Governor Raimondo, and Governor Baker Announce Joint Multi-State Agreement to Develop Regional Supply Chain for PPE and Medical Equipment

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a joint multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, other medical equipment and testing.

“Our states should never be in a position where we are actively competing against each other for life-saving resources,” Governor Murphy said. “By working together across the region, we can obtain critical supplies as we begin the process to restart our economies, while also saving money for our taxpayers. This concept is at the heart of the regional approach we’ve established.”


Governor Murphy Signs Hunger Free Students' Bill of Rights Act

Governor Phil Murphy signed A1104, also known as the Hunger Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act. The bill seeks to prevent school districts from taking adverse action, such as denial of meals or public identification measures, known as “lunch shaming,” against students who have school meal bills that are in arrears.

The bill also requires districts to annually provide all parents and/or guardians with the information and forms necessary to maximize participation in programs. Additionally, the bill requires a district’s liaison for homeless students to ensure that homeless students receive free meals.

“We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe, nurturing environments for our students and maximize the reach of beneficial programs” said Governor Murphy. “No child deserves to be shamed over school lunch debt. I commend the Legislature for taking decisive action to protect New Jersey’s students from the stigma and punishment of lunch shaming.”


Governor Murphy Announces Team of Experts With National Experience to Conduct Review of New Jersey's Long-Term Care Facilities

Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey has engaged a team of experts with national experience to conduct a rapid review of the state’s 575 long-term care facilities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and reduce impacts of future outbreaks.

The team of experts will be led by Cindy Mann, a 30-year expert in federal and state health policy who ran Medicaid in the Obama Administration as former Deputy Administrator at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Carol Raphael, former Chief Executive Officer and President of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, as well as the former board chair of AARP.

“New Jersey has tragically lost many lives to COVID-19, with half of our statewide deaths of individuals within the long-term care system,” said Governor Murphy. “We have seen COVID-19 ravage long-term care facilities nationwide as this virus poses a unique threat to our most vulnerable populations. The solutions we find here in New Jersey will protect both residents and staff in the long-term care system and serve as a national model for mitigation, protection, and resiliency against future outbreaks.”


Governor Murphy Names Restart and Recovery Advisory Council

Governor Phil Murphy announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders to advise on New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council will work in conjunction with the commission named last week and will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to advise state leadership on economic issues impacted by the pandemic. 

“As we begin the difficult task of restarting New Jersey’s economy and recovering from the damaging effects of COVID-19, this advisory council brings together leaders from all walks of New Jersey life,” said Governor Murphy. “This group will not only help us gather the local intelligence we need to get our economy running again, but also will help us create the framework for coping with our new long-term economic realities.”