Governor Phil Murphy

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This Week in NJ: January 8, 2021

01/8/2021

Governor Murphy Signs Historic Economic Recovery Legislation

Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the landmark New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which will provide economic support for small businesses, while propelling New Jersey’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade.

“These programs are the product of nearly three years of hard work, during which we received input from hundreds of voices on how best to structure our state’s recovery and growth,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am immensely proud of the result, which will not only provide much needed relief for our small businesses, but will also fundamentally change economic development in our state while creating thousands of high-paying job for our residents.”

“This incentives package will not only help strengthen our economy, but it will help address some of the longstanding inequities faced by the most distressed communities in our state,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “These renewed incentives are specifically directed toward reviving our local economies and helping main streets thrive throughout this crisis and beyond. I want to commend Governor Murphy and the legislature for their leadership in passing this bill which will put our state on a renewed path to prosperity.” 

“The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 presents a strong recovery and reform package that will position New Jersey to build a stronger and fairer economy that invests in innovation, in our communities, and in our small businesses the right way, with the protections and oversight taxpayers deserve,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Tax incentives and other investment tools are critical to economic development, and when used correctly they can drive transformative change that uplifts communities and creates new opportunities for everyone.”

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: Governor Murphy Marks Start of COVID-19 Vaccination Effort for Sworn Law Enforcement and Fire Professionals

Governor Phil Murphy, joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, and labor officials, visited the Morris County Regional Vaccination Center to highlight the beginning of New Jersey’s vaccination effort for sworn law enforcement and fire professionals.

All sworn law enforcement and fire professionals in New Jersey are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is estimated to include about 55,000 individuals. These first responders are the first individuals in Phase 1B to become eligible for vaccination. EMS professionals, also considered first responders, are already eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1A as health care workers.

“Throughout this pandemic, our first responders have continued to save lives and protect our communities, and I am proud today that we are able to provide them with this added level of protection as they continue to do their jobs,” said Governor Murphy. “When we’re ready to move forward, this site will serve as one of six megasites for the general public to receive their vaccinations. With hundreds of thousands of preregistrations already received, we know there will be a strong demand when that day arrives.”

“We’re all used to charging head-on into potentially dangerous situations, but COVID-19 has added a whole new layer of uncertainty and change for all of us,” said John Alderton, a career firefighter and EMT with the Morris Township Fire Department. “This vaccine is the first step of us moving in the right direction.  Thank you Governor Murphy for bringing this vaccine to not only first responders, but hopefully in the near future, to every New Jersey resident.”

"These megasites will be able to handle a large volume of individuals as we continue to move through eligible phases of vaccination toward the general public," said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. "The sites are part of a growing network of community-based sites that will help ensure fair and equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines."

“I’m grateful that Governor Murphy, Commissioner Persichilli, and the Department of Health have opened these mega-sites, and have made vaccinations for COVID-19 available for police and fire professionals across the state,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Our first responders have demonstrated extraordinary heroism, dedication, and resilience in answering the call to serve during this pandemic, and routinely put themselves in harm’s way. I strongly encourage all law enforcement who live or work in the state to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of this virus."

"We memorialized a lot of New Jerseyans over the past several months," said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the State Police. "This vaccine will save lives. The fact that this megasite and sites like it around New Jersey are up and running is a testament to this collective team effort."

"This vaccine megasite in Morris County marks a monumental step for New Jersey residents, particularly our healthcare providers and first responders who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic," said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. "The collaboration across state, county, local levels alongside the incredible team at Atlantic Health puts all of us on the path to greater safety and well-being. I fought for vaccine distribution funding in the latest coronavirus package and I'll continue to fight to get the resources necessary from the federal government."

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: Governor Murphy Commemorates Milestone for Latest Class of NJ TRANSIT Locomotive Engineers

Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti and NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett recognized NJ TRANSIT’s latest Locomotive Engineer Training Class for completing their formal classroom training and passing the Northeast Operating Rules of Advisory Committee and physical characteristics exams. The class of 17 engineer trainees will complete their field training and begin their final check rides later this month. The trainees completed a rigorous 78-week long program and passed extensive testing, including a final exam of more than 800 questions.

This class will bring the total number of new engineers that have joined NJ TRANSIT since 2018 to 94 and the total active roster to 385. Over the past three years, NJ TRANSIT has initiated 11 locomotive engineer training classes —  compared to just ten classes in the previous seven years combined.

“Growing the ranks of our locomotive engineers is an integral part of our three-year effort to turn NJ TRANSIT around, improve on-time performance and responsiveness, and restore the faith of NJ TRANSIT’s customers,” said Governor Murphy. “We’re proving that with the right team, and the right dedication, we can once again make NJ TRANSIT a national model for safe, accessible, and well-run mass transit.”

“The graduation of another class of locomotive engineers is evidence of the commitment and investment the Murphy Administration continues to make in NJ TRANSIT,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “This class deserves special recognition for its commitment to the program during one of the most difficult periods of time in our state’s history. Their dedication is critical to NJ TRANSIT having the personnel we need to get our rail customers where they want to go, when they want to get there.”

“With this new class of soon-to-be graduates, NJ TRANSIT is fast-approaching a full roster of locomotive engineers,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “Once this class of locomotive engineers completes their final check rides, we will have added nearly 100 new locomotive engineers to our roster since 2018 – a long way from the eight years before then, when the agency lost a net 61 of these highly trained professionals. All of these new engineers help us achieve our number one goal: Better, more reliable service for our customers.”

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Governor Murphy Signs the “Dominick Marino PFRS Enhanced Benefits for Surviving Spouses Act”

Governor Phil Murphy signed S487, also known as the “Dominick Marino PFRS Enhanced Benefits for Surviving Spouses Act”. The legislation is named after Dominick Marino, a former professional firefighter and past President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ), who passed away earlier last year. The new law will provide financial security for a member’s surviving spouse by ensuring that the accidental death benefit provided by the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System cannot be below $50,000 annually.

“A fierce advocate who put his heart and soul into everything he did for his PFANJ brothers and sisters, Dominick was a dear friend to me and to so many of us,” said Governor Murphy. “It is my great honor to sign this bill to cement Dominick’s legacy and help ensure that our first responders’ loved ones who are left behind are taken care of.”

“The health and well-being of his firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, as well as their families, were very important to our father. He continued to work hard and fight for them every day,” said the Marino Family. “This bill is just one example of his hard work and dedication to them, and we are honored to have this bill named after him.” 

“Senate Bill 487, named after Past-President Dominick Marino exemplifies ‘Donnie’ and all that he represented as President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) before his untimely death in April 2020,” said Steve McConlogue, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey. “He was the driving force behind this bill and felt passionately about ensuring that the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice are taken care of regardless of years of service. As firefighters, we show up each and every day knowing the danger and risks involved and, just as we believe in the importance of protecting and serving the members of our communities, we believe in taking care of each other. This bill helps to ensure we are doing just that. Thank you to the members of the PFANJ who have worked tirelessly to help move this bill across the finish line and to the members of the General Assembly and Senate for passing this bill unanimously. Thank you Governor Murphy for signing this bill into law.”

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Governor Murphy Announces Deployment of 500 National Guard Troops to Washington, D.C.

“Upon the request of the United States National Guard Bureau, I am authorizing the deployment of 500 members of the New Jersey National Guard to Washington, D.C. to protect our democracy and facilitate the peaceful transition of power. Our republic is built on the principles of democracy, peace, and the right of the American people to freely choose their leaders. The brave men and women of our National Guard will be deployed in order to preserve these sacred principles. May God Bless America and our brave men and women in uniform.”

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