Governor Murphy Announces Proposed Changes to New Jersey Fish and Game Code to End Bear Hunt in 2021
Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed changes to the state’s Game Code that would end bear hunting in New Jersey after 2020. The Fish and Game Council, which has authority over the hunt, has proposed an amendment to the New Jersey Game Code that suspends the hunt and removes the current Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy from the Game Code.
“With today’s announcement, we will end the bear hunt under my Administration and develop a new black bear policy that keeps public safety at the forefront of our concerns while protecting wildlife in the State,” said Governor Murphy. “I am grateful to the Fish and Game Council for their commitment to working with the Department of Environmental Protection to address this issue and chart a better way forward.”
“The DEP’s Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), in coordination with the independent Fish & Game Council, is committed to protecting public safety and wildlife,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “As DFW and the Council embark upon the data and policy analysis necessary to develop a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, we will rely on the best available science, engage often with the public, and work to achieve the best balance. We look forward to continuing our productive dialogue with the Council on this and other important natural resource management priorities.”
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Allowing Public Office Holders and Candidates for Public Office to Use Campaign Funds for Related Child Care Expenses
Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S698) allowing public office holders and candidates for public office to use political contributions to pay for child care expenses related to official or campaign activities.
“Public office holders and candidates often juggle parenting, their full-time careers, and their work in office and on the campaign trail,” said Governor Murphy. “No one should be excluded from running for or serving in office because they cannot find or afford child care. I am proud to sign this legislation that will allow those looking to serve our state to use campaign contributions for child care.”
“Running for office takes a huge toll on a family’s budget, especially while raising children. Campaign funds for child care will remove a major financial obstacle for working families and mothers at a time when women are increasingly considering elected office," said Liuba Grechen Shirley, Founder and CEO of Vote Mama PAC and the Vote Mama Foundation, which is working to pass campaign funds for child care in all 50 states by 2023. "We desperately need working women in office who understand family needs firsthand, and I trust that this will expand and diversify the ranks of future candidates in New Jersey. Thank you to Christine Clarke, whose candidacy Vote Mama was proud to support, Sen. Sandra Cunningham, Sen. Teresa Ruiz, Sen. Nicholas Scutari, and Governor Murphy for your leadership in getting this vitally important law passed.”
"As a working-class mother of four young children who lived the need for this important bill during my 2019 campaign for state office, I can attest personally to what this means for New Jersey women. Thank you to the Governor and the New Jersey Legislature for this critical step to level the playing field for moms seeking entry into politics," said Christine Clarke, environmental advocate and recent Assembly candidate in LD26.
Governor Murphy Announces $60 Million in Coronavirus Emergency Relief Funds for Counties and Local Governments
Governor Phil Murphy, alongside Congressman Andy Kim and Congressman Donald Norcross, announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted county and local governments in New Jersey, and they are facing increased costs in health benefits, health and human services, public safety, overtime, equipment, and supply expenditures. These relief funds will help to address necessary and unexpected expenditures necessitated by the pandemic.
“Local governments have stepped up to meet the needs of their communities throughout this pandemic, and we are strengthening their efforts today with $60 million dollars in direct relief,” said Governor Murphy. “We know these funds will be a welcome lifeline of support for essential government services and New Jersey’s taxpayers.”
“Our state has been hit hard by this crisis, and we need to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe and healthy,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I’m proud to have voted to help deliver this funding back home, but the work isn’t done. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in Congress to find bipartisan solutions that will help New Jersey, and won’t stop pressing until this pandemic is over and working people are back on their feet.”
“The CARES Act has delivered critical federal resources to our state, and distributing this CRF funding to those county and local governments who have yet to receive relief will have a profound impact,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “These resources will provide our local governments with the vital funding needed to help cover unexpected costs from the pandemic and keep our first responders and other essential workers safe and on the job. I’ll continue to fight for New Jersey in Congress to ensure our communities get the tools and supplies we need to combat this outbreak and keep residents healthy and secure.”
Murphy Administration Announces Applications for $500 Million in School Projects Funded Through the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act
The Murphy Administration announced the availability of grant applications for school security, water infrastructure improvements, and enhancement of career and technical education in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges in New Jersey. The grants are supported by $500 million in bonds authorized by the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (Act), and approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018.
“Investing in our students’ future is an essential part of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “From critical school security measures to necessary career and technical education training, this new funding will further strengthen our efforts to ensure that students across our state are equipped with the tools and support they need to succeed.”
“New Jersey students win twice through these initiatives,” said Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer. “The funding will help ensure students throughout the state are provided a safe and secure learning environment, and it will also provide countless students with greater opportunities for success both during and after high school.”
“One of the goals of our State Plan for Higher Education is for every student to have high-quality, career-relevant academic programs that prepare them for success,” said Interim Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez. “These campus upgrades will enhance students’ access to experiential learning opportunities and equip them with in-demand skills needed to compete in New Jersey’s innovation economy.”
Governor Murphy Announces Parimal Garg as Chief Counsel
Governor Murphy announced that Parimal Garg, current Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor, will be named as his next Chief Counsel. Current Chief Counsel Matt Platkin will depart the Governor’s Office later this month to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.
“I’ve relied on Parimal’s counsel for more than four years, and I consider him one of the sharpest legal minds in New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “As we continue to manage the challenging issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, I know Parimal will continue to provide the invaluable counsel he’s brought as an integral member of my senior team.”
“For more than four years, I have had the honor of working side by side with Parimal as he has tirelessly fought to make our state stronger and fairer,” said outgoing Chief Counsel Matt Platkin. “His unique combination of integrity, intellect, passion, and empathy make him a terrific choice to serve in the critical role of Chief Counsel. He has been integral to the Murphy Administration’s success to date, and I look forward to many future accomplishments under his leadership.”
"I'm deeply honored to continue serving Governor Murphy as he works to protect New Jersey from the worst public health crisis in a century and build a stronger and fairer state for all 9 million residents," said incoming Chief Counsel Parimal Garg. "I am especially grateful to Chief Counsel Matt Platkin for the standard of excellence and integrity that he has brought to the job every day, and I look forward to working alongside the rest of the team on behalf of the people of New Jersey."