This Week in NJ - February 17th, 2023
Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Visit Ukraine, Travel to Germany for 59th Annual Munich Security Conference
Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy visited Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine on Thursday to meet with Governor Maksym Kozytskyy and Shehyni Mayor Oksana Pavusko, refugees, displaced children, and orphans. Governor Murphy is the first sitting Governor to travel to the region since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.
"I am honored to visit Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine today to meet with Governor Maksym Kozytskyy, Shehyni Mayor Oksana Pavusko, refugees, displaced children, and orphans," said Governor Murphy. "Nearly a year after the Putin regime’s brutal invasion, we reaffirm our support for the Ukrainian people."
The Governor and First Lady will also travel to Munich, Germany for the 59th Munich Security Conference where the Governor will lead a panel discussion entitled “Leveling Up: Sub-State Actors as Global Players.” At the invitation of Munich Security Conference Chairman, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy will participate in the world’s leading forum for international security policy.READ MORE
During Black History Month, Governor Murphy Announces Expansion of Ap African American Studies in New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy announced the expansion of Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies classes in New Jersey during a visit to Science Park High School with Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka during Black History Month. The AP African American Studies class, which is currently in its first stage of a two-year pilot program across the country, will be taught in 26 New Jersey high schools during the 2023-2024 academic year. Currently, the class is offered in one New Jersey school out of 60 nationwide. The announcement underscores the Governor’s commitment to leading the nation in public education while promoting access to educational opportunities that offer students a strong foundation for future success.
Governor Murphy and Mayor Baraka were also joined by the Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan and the Superintendent of Newark Public Schools Roger León while visiting an African American History class taught by Mr. Alnazir Blackman, who will teach AP African American Studies at Science Park High School in the next academic year.
“The expansion of AP African American Studies in New Jersey will grant our students the opportunity to learn about the innumerable ways in which Black Americans have shaped and strengthened our country,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “As governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis prioritize political culture wars ahead of academic success, New Jersey will proudly teach our kids that Black History is American History. While the DeSantis Administration stated that AP African American Studies ‘significantly lacks educational value’, New Jersey will stand on the side of teaching our full history. We will set an example for the nation by demonstrating to our future leaders that our country is the greatest in the world because it is a work in progress, a promise, and an ideal we strive to achieve.”
Governor Murphy Announces Comprehensive Set of Initiatives to Combat Climate Change and Power the "Next New Jersey"
In an address this week at Rutgers Univerity, Governor Phil Murphy announced a series of new and accelerated targets and commitments to build upon the Administration’s nation-leading climate action record. The Administration will bolster its robust climate adaptation and mitigation efforts through an accelerated target of 100% clean energy by 2035, ambitious goal-setting for electrification of the state’s building sector, and collaborative planning for the future of the State’s natural gas utilities, through three Executive Orders signed by the Governor this morning. Additionally, the State will offer new grant funding for heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs), initiate the process to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II in New Jersey and ensure 100 percent of new cars sold in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles, and enact rules to enhance flood protection in riverine and coastal areas.
“These bold targets and carefully crafted initiatives signal our unequivocal commitment to swift and concrete climate action today,” said Governor Murphy. “We’ve turned our vision for a greener tomorrow into a responsible and actionable roadmap to guide us, and it’s through that pragmatic, evidence-based approach that we will ultimately arrive at our destination. Combined with our federal partnerships reinforced through the Inflation Reduction Act, these comprehensive initiatives will better protect and prepare every New Jersey community, including those on the front lines of climate change who have previously been left out and left behind.”
“The climate change impacts we are already experiencing in our state demand that we take innovative, decisive action today to give future generations of New Jersey residents a chance at a good quality of life,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. “Our deep affection for New Jersey and the people who call it home propel us to adopt policies and launch programs that help us address and adapt to the realities of climate change. It is with pride that the Murphy Administration takes a leadership role on this urgent issue and we are hopeful that New Jerseyans of every walk of life will support these efforts to promote climate resilience.”
New Jersey Department of Education Announces First-in-the-nation $4.5 Million Grant to Support Climate Change Education in Schools
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced the availability of $4.5 million in state grants to fund locally focused climate change education in New Jersey schools.
The “Climate Awareness Education: Implementing the NJSLS for Climate Change” grants will help schools meet New Jersey’s first-in-the-nation climate-change standards. In 2020, climate change was incorporated across the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), which provide what students are expected to learn in nine content areas such as science, social studies, health, and visual/performing arts.
“As New Jersey continues to transition to a green economy, it will be imperative to prepare our students to take on the jobs of the future,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Our civic leaders, policy makers, journalists, teachers, and many others will need climate literacy to successfully achieve our environmental goals. These grants will provide schools with the tools they need to ensure that New Jersey continues to be a leader in the fight against climate change.”
“Incorporating climate change education across our learning standards was just the first step in our effort to fully prepare New Jersey’s students for the jobs of tomorrow and the challenges they will face as a result of the climate crisis. Now, this grant funding will support educators as they develop local initiatives, ideas, and classroom-specific lessons,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy, who has championed the effort to incorporate climate change instruction across New Jersey’s learning standards. “These learning standards are more than just a new requirement, they are a symbol of the partnership between generations, and I am excited to see them come to life through our best-in-the-nation educators.”
DCA AWARDS $1.8 MILLION IN GRANTS THROUGH FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT PILOT PROGRAM
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced that it recently awarded $1.8 million in funding to 10 nonprofit organizations through the Financial Empowerment Pilot Program. DCA is managing the three-year Financial Empowerment Pilot Program, which is designed to create financial empowerment programs pursuant to Assembly Bill A3062, known as P.L. 2021, c. 321, which was signed by Governor Murphy on December 21, 2021.
“I was thrilled to sign the Financial Empowerment Pilot Program into law and excited that DCA has now identified these 10 nonprofit organizations to provide financial knowledge and skills to some of our most vulnerable communities,” said Governor Murphy. “Financial literacy is key to managing one’s money. Learning how to save, invest, build credit, and so on will not only empower individuals and families to understand how to reach their financial goals, but will allow them to continue to share the knowledge they gained for generations to come.”
“These awards will fund programs that enhance economically vulnerable people’s’ ability to make informed choices about financial issues through education and skill building, particularly in the areas of access to banking services, credit improvement, and reduction of unsecured debt,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who also serves as DCA Commissioner. “Free and confidential one-on-one coaching will be provided by trained professionals to help New Jerseyans in underserved communities reach their money goals, learn about consumer protections and their legal rights, and achieve greater control over their finances.”