Governor Phil Murphy

This Week in NJ: July 3, 2020


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Provide Chapter 78 Relief to New Jersey Educators

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation providing substantial health care cost savings for New Jersey’s educators while reducing costs for taxpayers, removing longstanding and onerous provisions resulting from a 2011 law known as Chapter 78. 

The legislation (A20/S2273) is the result of collaborative negotiations between the Murphy Administration, legislative leadership, and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). 

“With our state facing historic public health and economic challenges, it is more important than ever that we ensure access to high-quality, affordable health care for our educators, while also ensuring cost-savings for our taxpayers,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am proud to sign this bill into law and at long-last provide relief for our educators from Chapter 78. I thank the New Jersey Education Association, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin for their collaborative, good-faith negotiations.”


Governor Signs Bare Bones State Spending Plan into Law for Extended Fiscal Year to Help Weather Continued Fallout from COVID-19

Governor Phil Murphy signed a three-month spending plan into law on Tuesday that includes a series of deep cuts and spending deferrals to help the state meet its most basic obligations through the extended fiscal year (FY 2020), which ends September 30.

New Jersey extended its fiscal year beyond the traditional closing date of June 30 in light of the extreme uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and the subsequent decision to extend state and federal tax filing deadlines to July 15 to help taxpayers weather the COVID-19 crisis.

“The fiscal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are as unprecedented as this public health emergency itself,” said Governor Murphy. “As we move forward toward the nine-month Fiscal 2021 budget, our choices will have an even bigger impact. But, make no mistake, we cannot just cut our way forward. We must have the flexibility to borrow essential funds to secure the core services we will rely upon as we emerge from this pandemic, and we need direct assistance from the federal government. Absent those, the tough decisions we have made now will pale in comparison to those which lay just around the corner.” 


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Further Reform New Jersey's Criminal Justice System

Governor Phil Murphy signed three pieces of legislation that make various reforms to New Jersey’s criminal justice system. The bills will ensure personnel files of law enforcement officers are shared when applying for employment at other agencies, accelerate juvenile justice reforms, and expand critical re-entry benefits.

“I’ve been clear that New Jersey will be as aggressive as any state in the nation in our efforts to reform a criminal justice system that has largely failed our Black and Brown communities for far too long,” said Governor Murphy. “Among other important changes, these measures promote a greater degree of professionalism in law enforcement hiring practices and ensure that young people and formerly incarcerated individuals who are re-entering society are provided with a meaningful chance to reach their full potential.”

The Governor signed the following bills into law:

  • A744 (Johnson, Holley, Conaway, Wimberly/Weinberg, Turner) - Requires law enforcement agencies to provide internal affairs and personnel files of law enforcement officers to other agencies under certain circumstances.
  • S2511 (Pou, Turner/Wimberly, Reynolds-Jackson) - Accelerates rescinding of certain juvenile delinquency fines and making discretionary post-incarceration supervision due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • S2331 (Sweeney, Cunningham/Pintor Marin, Quijano, Verrelli) - Assists inmates released from incarceration in obtaining necessary re-entry benefits.

Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Full Staff Starting at July 3

Governor Phil Murphy ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be returned to full staff on Friday, July 3, having been at half-staff since Friday, April 3, in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19. The flags will return to full staff as a symbol of New Jersey’s recovery and continued resolve.

“As a result of the hard sacrifices made by all New Jerseyans, we have made immense progress in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “As we approach Independence Day, it is the appropriate time to recognize the resilience of the people of our staate and our country, and remind us all that much like other difficult periods in our history, we will eventually make it through.”


NJ TRANSIT Announces Major PTC Milestone Achievements

NJ TRANSIT has advanced its Positive Train Control (PTC) program into the Extended Revenue Service Demonstration (ERSD) phase.  The achievement follows successful completion of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) requirement to perform 384 error-free test runs in the demonstration area between Denville and Summit.  NJ TRANSIT will now expand its Revenue Service Demonstration to the entire Morristown Line from Hackettstown to Newark Broad St. as well as the Gladstone Branch and Montclair-Boonton Line.

“Entering the Extended Revenue Service Demonstration phase is the most significant achievement since we successfully met the December 2018 interim milestone for PTC equipment installation,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett.  “While the finish line may be in sight, we are not slowing down.  We are using this momentum during the final six months to rapidly expand our PTC footprint and achieve full certification by the end of the year.  I want to thank everyone from NJ TRANSIT, our contractors and FRA Administrator Batory and his team for all of their hard work.”