Gov. Murphy delivers 1st State of the State address

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TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his first State of the State address from Trenton Thursday.

The Democrat, who will have served the state for one year on Wednesday, started his address by slamming a program that under former Gov. Chris Christie awarded $11 billion in tax incentives for companies to create jobs in New Jersey. But an audit found that some of those companies showed no proof that jobs were ever created.

That program is now under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy to deliver State of the State address Tuesday 

“Tax incentive programs should be about the best of what we do in government -- creating good jobs by investing taxpayer dollars with integrity, and subject to real oversight. That's the test. And, it's the test our system spectacularly failed,” Murphy said.

 
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The governor also spoke about some unfinished business from his first year in office, such as the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. He also spoke about continuing to improve New Jersey Transit and to hold them accountable for continuing issues with service.

Murphy also addressed plans to get all New Jersey residents who are of age driver’s licenses, regardless of immigration status.

Following his address, New Jersey’s Republican lawmakers held their own news conference. They said that Murphy still has not done anything to help lighten the financial burden on the residents of New Jersey.

“Gov. Murphy has a really big heart. We just don’t have the wallet to match his heart. His broad concepts, some of them good, some of them not good. The bottom line here is that New Jersey residents have seen 169 new laws. Not one law related to making the state more affordable,” said New Jersey General Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.

 
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Much of what Murphy can accomplish for 2019 will hinge on whether he can get along with Senate President Steve Sweeney. The two Democrats have been at odds at times during Murphy’s first year.

 

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