Gov. Murphy delivers 3rd State of the State address virtually, with no audience
Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his third State of the State address on Tuesday, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pre-recorded with no audience.
“Three years ago, I took office with a pledge to rebuild New Jersey from the middle out and from the bottom up,” Murphy said.
The address reviewed the governor’s accomplishments that he says will strengthen and expand the middle class in the Garden State.
“Expanding pre-K education and investments in education, while at the same time stabilizing property taxes. Making community college tuition-free for thousands of New Jerseyans and expanding job-training programs,” Murphy said.
Murphy has already announced that he is running for a second term as governor. That election is less than 10 months away.
“He believes that he’s kept most of his promises. And so, we are going to hear more about that this year. We are going to hear more about that on the campaign trial,” says political expert Micah Rasmussen.
Less than 24 hours after former GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt dropped out of the Republican race for governor, Murphy’s Republican opponent will likely be former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.
In a statement, Ciattarelli said in a statement, “Gov. Murphy has been in power for three years now. It's time for us to ask ourselves, are we better off? If you want a change, you've got to make a change. I'm determined to fix our broken state.
In the official Republican response, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick criticized the governor's reliance on executive orders during the pandemic and the state's high tax rate.
“This is a fundamental difference on how to bring this state back to economic fiscal, sane policies,” Bramnick said.
“This was a somber address. Right? Visually, having him there in the empty War Memorial was a very stark picture that we all saw. It was a reminder that in many ways he is alone right now,” Rasmussen says.
Murphy called for the Legislature to pass early in-person voting this year. Bramnick says that he will likely support that.