Governor Phil Murphy

This Week In New Jersey: September 18, 2020


Governor Murphy Signs Legislative Package to Strengthen the Resiliency and Preparedness of New Jersey's Long-Term Care Industry

Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo, and Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin announced that that the revised Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021) budget will raise the state’s gross income tax rate on income between $1 million and $5 million per year. The rate will increase from the current 8.97% to 10.75% for every dollar earned between $1 million and $5 million annually, bringing it in line with the rate for income earned over $5 million annually and back to the rate paid in 2010. The Governor and legislators also announced a tax cut that will pay an up to $500 rebate to approximately 800,000 New Jersey families. 

“In this unprecedented time, when so many middle-class families and others have sacrificed a great deal, now is the time to ensure that the wealthiest among us are also called to make a modest sacrifice by paying pennies on the dollar more for any income over $1 million,” said Governor Murphy. “I am also proud to announce that we are taking the step of providing a $500 rebate for our middle-class families. I thank the Senate President and Speaker for their partnership as we move forward with these initiatives that will spur resiliency and economic growth in our state.”

“I would like to congratulate Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin for coming together during a very difficult economic time in New Jersey and reaching consensus on a budget that will work for the operations of government, but more importantly for the people of New Jersey,” said Lieutenant Governor Oliver. “This is a budget that represents having to be frugal based on the revenue deficits we are challenged with, but at the same time, prioritizing what is important.”

“Helping middle class families to me, makes all the sense in the world at this time,” said Senate President Sweeney. “I want to thank the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor for their openness and their willingness to do this a little bit differently than we thought we were going to do. I am glad to be standing here with my colleagues.”

“The agreement that we reached will provide much needed tax relief for so many who can truly use a break,” said Assembly Speaker Coughlin. “It has always been a priority of all of us to help the middle class. I am pleased to join today with the Governor and the Senate President in support of increasing the tax rate on those earning more than a million dollars. The small increase has long been part of Governor Murphy’s plan of tax fairness and it will generate much needed revenue that will allow assistance to those desperately in need.”

“Many middle class families are really struggling because of what the pandemic has done to them,” said Assemblywoman Pintor Marin, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “I applaud the Speaker for his leadership, the Governor, and Senate President for being at the forefront and giving families some of the relief that they have been looking for. I am very proud today.”

“What is important for all of us to recognize as we sit here today, during one of the most difficult times in our state and our country’s history is that the leaders have come together and have put together a budget process and put the biggest piece of it together in a time frame that allows it to be done in a transparent manner,” said Senator Sarlo, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “Thank you Governor, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin for taking the leadership on that.”

READ MORE: Governor Murphy, Lt. Governor Oliver, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, Assembly Budget Chair Pintor Marin, and Senate Budget Chair Sarlo Announce Agreement to Include Millionaire’s Tax and Middle-Class Tax Relief in Revised FY2021 Budget


Governor Murphy Signs Historic Environmental Justice Legislation

Fulfilling a commitment to enact sweeping protections for environmental justice communities, Governor Phil Murphy, alongside U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Ras Baraka, Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblyman John McKeon, and environmental advocates, signed legislation (S232), which requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require mandatory permit denials if an environmental justice analysis determines a new facility will have a disproportionately negative impact on overburdened communities.

“Today we are sending a clear message that we will longer allow Black and Brown communities in our state to be dumping grounds, where access to clean air and clean water are overlooked,” said Governor Murphy. “This action is a historic step to ensure that true community input and collaboration will factor into decisions that have a cumulative impact for years to come. I’m incredibly proud that New Jersey is now home to the strongest environmental justice law in the nation.”

"With this bill that Governor Murphy signed today, we will begin to lift a costly and burdensome weight off the parts of our State that have been dealing with the negative impacts of environmental pollution the most," said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "By being more judicious in the application of our environmental permitting laws, we can create more broadly shared prosperity in New Jersey. Because every New Jerseyan deserves a healthier, cleaner and more financially stable place to live, no matter their zip code."


Governor Murphy Signs Legislative Package to Strengthen the Resiliency and Preparedness of New Jersey's Long-Term Care Industry

Acting on a commitment to reform and build a more resilient long-term care industry, Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislative package to address systemic challenges, mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and strengthen preparedness for future outbreaks. The legislative package enacts several recommendations made in Manatt Health’s rapid review of the state’s long-term care facilities, including wage enhancements for frontline staff, improved response coordination, and robust data reporting procedures. The legislative package received bipartisan support.

“The residents and staff of our long-term care facilities have borne an outsized burden of this pandemic,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “While we know this has not been a tragedy unique to New Jersey, we will learn from this crisis and emerge as a national model for solving immediate challenges and building future resilience. These measures not only support our ongoing efforts to get things right for our long-term care residents, staff, and families, but also ensure we have strong measures in place to deal with bad actors in the industry who put profit before people.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Designating the Howell House as the Official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A3201), which designates the Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May, New Jersey as the official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum. The Governor participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the museum. The Howell House is owned by the Macedonia Baptist Church. In 2018, the church gave Robert, Zach, and Cynthia Mullock permission to renovate the house into a museum honoring Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman has a special connection to Cape May, having spent a significant amount of time during the 1850s in the area, gathering funds to support her work through the Underground Railroad. The museum will inform current and future generations of the great sacrifices and efforts that Tubman made on her mission to save enslaved African-Americans and bring them to the free North.  The museum opened virtually on June 19, 2020, a date recognized as “Juneteenth" and recently designated an official State holiday in New Jersey.

"It gives me great pride in announcing that the Howell House in Cape May is now the official Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey," said Governor Murphy. "Harriett Tubman’s extraordinary efforts helped establish and run the Underground Railroad, and her fearless actions during her lifetime led to the freedom of many. I am proud of the role that New Jersey and Cape May were able to play in her mission to free Black men, women, and children from slavery. This is just one small step in acknowledging the plight and struggle of the Black community, and we will continue to recognize and fight against all forms of racism."

"Harriet Tubman was arguably the most well-known activist and abolitionist in US history. Her intellect, determination and iron will saved the lives of many enslaved Americans. She is our North Star. When we fight for equality, we think of her name," said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "This museum, which is dedicated to her legacy, will now officially ensure that her name will forever be revered and honored in New Jersey history."

“Our work here in Cape May for the last two years has been dedicated to preserving and creating a space worthy of magnifying Harriet Tubman’s life, and the life of so many luminaries who worked with her or followed in her footsteps in the struggle for racial and social justice.” said Cynthia Mullock, Executive Director of the Harriet Tubman Museum. “Among our many supporters was the Murphy administration. In particular, we want to thank Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Secretary of State Tahesha Way, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Historical Commission, and the grant programs through the Cape May County Department of Tourism, as well as the State’s neighborhood preservation program. 


Governor Murphy Celebrates Groundbreaking for Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project

Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and local elected officials celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for construction on the Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project, which will replace the existing swing-span bridge that carries NJ TRANSIT’s North Jersey Coast Line trains over the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy. The current bridge, originally built in 1908, suffered damage during Superstorm Sandy, and has experienced recurring maintenance issues. The new bridge will integrate resilient structural designs and materials to withstand future storm surges and be significantly less vulnerable to severe weather events.

“Smart infrastructure projects like this are at the heart of building a stronger, fairer, and more resilient post-COVID New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “To recapture our state’s mantle as the economic corridor to the nation, we need to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to get residents to and from work, school, or play. Importantly, this project will also provide an economic stimulus at just the right time and bring with it more than 5,700 good-paying jobs.”