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This Week in NJ: July 16th, 2021


Governor Murphy, Bipartisan Group of Governors and Mayors Meet With President Biden to Discuss Infrastructure Framework

Governor Murphy and a bipartisan group of Governors and Mayors met with President Biden at the White House to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure framework. While in Washington D.C., Governor Murphy also attended a dinner at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

The Governor also met with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez to discuss the need for infrastructure investments including the Gateway Program.


Moody's Upgrades New Jersey's Credit Outlook to Positive

Moody’s noted, “The state has responded to a brightening revenue and liquidity picture with several actions reflecting a recent commitment to addressing more aggressively its liability burdens, demonstrating improved fiscal governance and management. These actions include debt reduction and avoidance and acceleration of pension contributions.”

“For the past four years we have approached the fiscal challenges we inherited, not as obstacles, but as opportunities to right our fiscal ship,” said Governor Murphy. “On the heels of a record 11 credit downgrades under the prior administration and in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, we’ve delivered historic levels of pension funding – including the first full contribution in a quarter of a century – set aside money to pay off a sizable portion of state debt and avoid future issuances, secured long-term savings for the State and its taxpayers, bolstered our surplus, and positioned ourselves well to tackle the remaining challenges that lie ahead. The fact that we’ve been able to accomplish all of this while creating a more fair and equitable playing field for the working families of this state is a testament to our values. I want to thank the Treasurer and her team for their steady leadership, particularly during the economic upheaval we faced over the last two years.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Elevating Strangulation Assault to a Second Degree Crime

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2503) which elevates strangulation assault to a crime of the second degree, punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both. 

“The murder of Yasemin Uyar by a repeat domestic abuser was horrific and appalling,” said Governor Murphy. “Research has shown that strangulation is often one of the strongest red flags for predicting future homicides of victims of domestic violence. This legislation recognizes the seriousness of strangulation assault and gives us the tools necessary to hold people accountable for their actions.”


Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver Highlight Historic Housing Affordability and Housing Security Investments in FY2022 Budget

Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver highlighted state funds that will allow for the financing and construction of hundreds of new affordable housing units; provide housing assistance for low-income New Jerseyans; continue our progress toward ending homelessness; expand mortgage and down payment assistance for low-income families and essential workers; and help speed approval of new affordable housing units. 

“While we continue our state’s recovery from COVID-19, we must also invest in housing stability and affordability for the longer term across New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud that this budget enables us to advance a broad housing affordability strategy. By making these investments, we can ensure greater housing security for New Jersey’s low-income families, help many first-generation homeowners begin to build wealth through homeownership, and greatly expand our stock of affordable homes.”

“Quality, stable housing that people can actually afford has the incredible ability to transform lives and communities,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “The State’s unprecedented multi-billion-dollar investment in housing will not only address the tremendous impact that COVID-19 has had on our renters and homeowners in New Jersey, but will also expand our existing housing programs and create new ones. This is such an exciting and fulfilling time to be involved in housing because we are seizing an opportunity with vision and purpose to help thousands of families find a place they can call home.” 


Governor Murphy, Secretary Bridges Announce Awardees of Nearly $30 Million to Address COVID-19 Impacts on Postsecondary Students

Governor Phil Murphy and Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges announced the awardees of nearly $30 million in federal funding that will be distributed to New Jersey institutions of higher education.

“Our institutions of higher education have provided a high-quality of education to our students throughout the pandemic, despite challenging circumstances,” said Governor Murphy. “Supporting our institutions will continue to be a priority as they work to provide an equitable educational experience for students, prepare them for the jobs of the future and meet challenges ahead.”

“Through this critical federal funding, New Jersey is prioritizing students’ needs and ensuring our workforce will be ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s post-pandemic economy,” said Secretary Bridges. “We appreciate that institutions are committing to this challenge and look forward to learning from the innovative best practices implemented, as we strive to meet the state’s goal of 65 percent of residents earning a high-quality credential by 2025.”