Democrat Phil Murphy became the 56th Governor of New Jersey when he was officially inaugurated on January 16, 2018. During his Inaugural Address the new Governor spoke about creating better jobs, providing higher wages, and creating an atmosphere where businesses can grow. While light on specific solutions, Governor Murphy touched on many issues during his speech, including education, property tax relief, criminal justice reform, tax reform, immigration, climate change, renewable energy, affordable housing, and the legalization of marijuana.
Governor Murphy suggested the Legislature waste no time getting to work, asking them to send him bills on women’s health, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, equal pay for women, and earned sick leave, as well as strengthening voter protections and gun laws.
Resisting the White House and Congress was another theme of the inaugural address. Governor Murphy vowed to fight any efforts to worsen income inequality, defund infrastructure improvements, take away health care from New Jersey residents, damage the environment, or provide a financial windfall to corporations, and billionaires at the expense of the middle-class.
Governor Murphy wrapped up his remarks by urging all those listening to “accept the need to do big things that will benefit everyone who calls New Jersey home.”
When Governor Murphy presents his first budget to the Legislature in a few weeks, we will have a better idea of what areas the new Administration wants to prioritize in its first year.