New Jersey has one of the best vaccination rates in the country, with two-thirds of its residents — almost 5 million people — fully vaccinated. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) explains how his state is handling the pandemic and why he now refers to COVID-19 as a “preventable illness.” We’ll also hear his forecast for an increase in tourism this summer and about his decision on masks in schools when they reopen this fall.

Highlights

Gov. Phil Murphy emphasized the state’s need to get more Black and Brown community members vaccinated. “We’re not in the end zone yet, I have to say. We continue to need to make progress particularly in Black and Brown communities. But I think the answer… is that we didn’t rely on any one program. We put a lot of elements in place.” (Washington Post Live)
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he’s confident President Biden will sign gun safety laws if Congress can successfully get legislation to his desk. “We have too many crime guns that still come into New Jersey, and that is a huge frustration for law enforcement… It’s a reason why we formed something called States for Gun Safety, so we’ve got a coalition of states trying to coordinate and work together and research on gun safety. But it’s also why we need federal gun safety laws, and I pray Congress can get there. I know this President will sign any gun safety laws that come his way.” (Washington Post Live)
Gov. Phil Murphy said while he is easing pandemic restrictions, the state will keep all options available to combat unforeseen future surges of covid-19. “We’ll keep all options open and I say that not happily… We’re the densest state in America in the densest region in America. Most often that’s a good thing, not in a pandemic, we got clobbered. And we were among if not the very first state in the nation to shut down, require masking indoors, etc. I hope like heck that we will not have to go back to that… Having said that Eugene, you have to keep all options on the table.” (Washington Post Live)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D)

Provided by the Office of Gov. Phil Murphy.

Philip Murphy took the oath of office as New Jersey’s 56th governor on January 16, 2018.

Since taking office, Governor Murphy has focused on building a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family. Under his leadership, New Jersey has made strides in creating and expanding economic opportunity while shrinking long-standing inequities, restoring fiscal responsibility, delivering real property tax relief, growing the state’s economy, and investing in its people.

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, Governor Murphy committed to protecting lives while ensuring that New Jersey emerges stronger, fairer, and more resilient.

He has guided New Jersey from being the epicenter of the national pandemic to a model state for restart and recovery with a focus on careful statewide and regional planning to protect residents and save lives. He has built broad partnerships for aggressive COVID testing and vaccinations. And, his administration has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in direct relief to small businesses, schools, tenants and landlords, and middle-class families.

Under Governor Murphy, and before the COVID pandemic, New Jersey had reemerged as a national leader in securing the dignity of working families by moving to a $15-per-hour minimum wage, guaranteeing earned sick days, and expanding paid family leave. The governor has enacted initiatives to provide a tuition-free community college education for qualified students and in-state tuition assistance to Dreamers. He has expanded protections for the state’s immigrant and LGBTQ communities. He has also enacted numerous laws to strengthen and update New Jersey’s gun laws to combat the scourge of gun violence.

Governor Murphy has also made New Jersey a model state for social justice, signing legislation enacting among the country’s strongest automatic voter registration measures and restoring voting rights to residents on parole or probation, expunging the records of numerous nonviolent offenders, and creating the nation’s strongest provisions for environmental justice, alongside other new laws.

He has put a special emphasis on making New Jersey more welcoming to both established high-tech enterprises and start-up companies in the innovation economy. In January 2021 he enacted a new set of state economic incentives, focused on promoting the growth of new small businesses and innovative startups, enacting the state’s first tax credits for historic preservation, and expanding credits for brownfields reclamation and redevelopment, among other initiatives.

Under the governor’s leadership, New Jersey has also emerged as a leader in the deployment of offshore-wind energy technologies with one of the nation’s most-aggressive proposals for the development of offshore wind. Under his leadership, the state has also forged partnerships that will see the first wind-energy component manufacturing facility in the United States as well as a wind port purpose-build for moving those components to market.

The youngest of four children of the late Walter F. Murphy, Sr. and Dorothy Murphy, Governor Murphy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 16, 1957, and was raised in both Newton and nearby Needham, Massachusetts.

The Governor is a graduate of Needham High School, Harvard University, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.

Governor Murphy and his wife, Tammy Snyder Murphy, are the parents of four children: Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam. The family resides in Middletown, Monmouth County.