What to Know
- New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday took implicit purpose at GOP rivals who criticize blue states for being “woke” whereas additionally calling for accountable authorities and bipartisanship in his annual state of the state deal with.
- Murphy marked his fifth state of the state Tuesday earlier than a joint session of the Democrat-led Legislature, which faces an election this yr, and as jockeying forward of subsequent yr’s presidential contest unfolds.
- New Jersey Republicans considered the speech as a scene-setter for a attainable presidential run and criticized Murphy’s administration amid excessive inflation.
Inviting a nationwide political highlight, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday took implicit purpose at GOP rivals who criticize blue states for being “woke” whereas additionally calling for accountable authorities and bipartisanship in his annual state of the state deal with.
Murphy marked his fifth state of the state Tuesday earlier than a joint session of the Democrat-led Legislature, which faces an election this yr, and as jockeying forward of subsequent yr’s presidential contest unfolds.
He didn’t point out Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible 2024 White Home contender, by identify however alluded to his current second inaugural address in which he said Florida is the place “woke goes to die.”
“Some governors boast that their state is where ‘woke goes to die.’ I’m not sure I know what that’s supposed to mean,” Murphy stated, including that “the American Dream is alive and well” in New Jersey. He pointed to the state’s 3.4% unemployment price, barely decrease than the federal stage, a burgeoning film production and tax credit score business and key regional infrastructure tasks.
“It’s cool to be from New Jersey once more,” Murphy added.
Murphy has responded to questions on a attainable presidential candidacy by saying he would again President Joe Biden if he runs for reelection subsequent yr, leaving open the risk he might contemplate working.
He drew different contrasts with GOP-led states.
Invoking tax incentive packages in Florida and Georgia aimed toward attracting companies, Murphy claimed New Jersey’s third quarter of 2022 financial output outpaced their efficiency.
“Our clear record of success is greater than that of states that pay for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful by taking away investments from public education and civic programs,” Murphy stated.
Not like final yr’s state of the state declaration that he was “boldly progressive,” Murphy known as for bipartisanship and “reasonable, responsible government.” It’s a bit of a tone shift that comes as legislative Democrats face reelection after Murphy’s personal shut victory in 2021.
He touted his work alongside Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox at the Nationwide Governors Affiliation, saying that state and nationwide politics wants much less contempt and extra friendship.
“Let us never forget that in the grand ranking of things we are partisans fourth, elected officials third, New Jerseyans second, and Americans first and foremost,” Murphy stated.
Whereas he known as for working with Republicans, his main accomplishments to this point, like elevating taxes on the rich, passing new gun management laws, legalizing leisure marijuana and boosting funding for abortion providers, have been handed by the Democrat-dominated Legislature.
New Jersey Republicans considered the speech as a scene-setter for a attainable presidential run and criticized Murphy’s administration amid excessive inflation.
“Today’s speech particularly showed the importance of electing Republican majorities in the state legislature this year to place a badly-needed check on Murphy’s governorship and to stop his presidential campaign dead in its tracks,” state GOP spokesperson Alexandra Wilkes stated.
Whereas the governor appeared to purpose partly for a nationwide viewers, he additionally included lots of state-level element in the practically hour-long deal with.
He unveiled a proposal to overtake the state’s Prohibition-era liquor license system for eating places.
As a result of the state’s liquor license legal guidelines limit permits to 1 for each 3,000 residents, restaurateurs typically pay dearly — as much as seven figures — for such a license. That system shuts out many who can’t afford the value, he stated.
Murphy known as for step by step increasing the quantity of licenses till such restrictions are eradicated, and to compensate those that spent a lot for a license, he known as for a “targeted tax credit.”
He unveiled what he known as a “Boardwalk Fund” to pay for upgrades to the shore’s well-known seaside walkways, however with scant element.
He instructed lawmakers he we’d signal laws that will tighten legal guidelines in opposition to auto theft in the event that they despatched him such a measure and he touted a property tax relief program enacted last year that he has stated he desires to proceed this yr.
An emotional excessive level got here when Murphy introduced that 4 Ukrainian army service members who have been receiving therapy in the United States have been in the Meeting chamber. Lawmakers stood and applauded earlier than Murphy intoned “Slava Ukraini” or glory to Ukraine.