what to know
- New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy took aim at Republican rivals on Tuesday who criticize blue states for having a “conscience” while calling for accountable government and bipartisanship in his annual State of the Union address.
- Murphy marked his fifth out-of-state visit Tuesday ahead of a joint session of the Democratic-led Legislature, which faces an election this year, and unfolded as a maneuver ahead of next year’s presidential race.
- New Jersey Republicans saw the speech as a setting for a possible presidential run and criticized Murphy’s administration amid high inflation.
NEW JERSEY — Invoking a national political spotlight, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy hit out at Republican rivals on Tuesday for having “conscience” while calling for accountable government and bipartisanship in his annual State of the State address. Criticize the Blue States.
Murphy marked his fifth out-of-state visit on Tuesday ahead of a joint session of the Democratic-led Legislature, which faces an election this year, and unfolded as a maneuver ahead of next year’s presidential race.
He did not name Republican Florida Gov. Didn’t name Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 White House contender, but pointed to his recent second inaugural address in which he said Florida is where “conscience dies.”
“Some governors boast that their state is where ‘awareness dies.’ I’m not sure I know what that means,” Murphy said, adding that the “American Dream is alive and kicking” in New Jersey.
He pointed to the state’s 3.4% unemployment rate, slightly below the federal level, a booming film production industry, and tax credits and major regional infrastructure projects.
“It’s great to be from New Jersey again,” Murphy said.
Murphy answered questions about a possible presidential run, saying he would support President Joe Biden if he ran for re-election next year, leaving open the possibility that he might consider running. Huh.
He drew other contrasts with states led by the Republican Party.
While implementing tax incentive programs in Florida and Georgia aimed at attracting businesses, Murphy claimed New Jersey’s third quarter 2022 economic output outperformed that.
“Our clear track record of success pales in comparison to states that siphon investment away from public education and civic programs and give enormous tax breaks to the richest and most powerful,” Murphy said.
In contrast to the previous year’s State of the Union statement that it was “boldly progressive”, Murphy called for bipartisanship and “fair and accountable government”. It’s a small change in tone as House Democrats face re-election in 2021 after Murphy’s narrow victory.
He touted his work with Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox in the National Governors Association, saying state and national politics needed less scorn and more friendship.
“Let us never forget that in the grand ranking of things, we supporters are fourth, elected officials third, New Jerseyans second, and Americans first,” Murphy said.
While he called for working with Republicans, his major achievements so far, including raising taxes on the wealthy, passing new gun control laws, legalizing recreational marijuana, and increasing funding for abortion services, have all been denied by the Republican Party. has been approved by supremacy of the legislature.
New Jersey Republicans saw the speech as a setting for a possible presidential run and criticized Murphy’s administration amid high inflation.
State GOP spokeswoman Alexandra Wilkes said, “Today’s speech especially showed the importance of electing Republican majorities in the state legislature this year to provide much-needed checks on Murphy’s governorship and stall his presidential campaign.” Could.”
While the governor aimed somewhat for a national audience, he also included state-level details in his nearly one-hour speech.
He revealed a proposal to overhaul the state’s Prohibition-era liquor licensing system for restaurants.
Because state liquor license laws restrict licenses to one per 3,000 residents, restaurant owners often pay up to seven figures for such licenses. He said that system excludes many people who cannot afford the cost.
Murphy called for gradually increasing the number of licenses until such restrictions were lifted, and to compensate those who spent heavily on licenses, he called for “targeted tax credits”.
He unveiled a “Boardwalk Fund” to pay for improvements to the well-known Coastal Boardwalk, but with scant details.
He told lawmakers he would sign legislation that would toughen auto theft laws if they send him such a measure, and he touted a property tax relief program enacted last year that he said he wants to continue this year.
An emotional point came when Murphy announced that four members of the Ukrainian military service receiving treatment in the United States were in the assembly hall. Lawmakers rose to their feet and applauded before Murphy sang “Slava Ukraini,” or Glory to Ukraine.