Gov. Phil Murphy sworn in for 2nd term
Gov. Phil Murphy’s second term has officially begun.
Murphy and Lt. Gov. Shelia Oliver were sworn in just before noon Tuesday at the War Memorial in Trenton. Murphy then gave his inaugural address.
The governor had chosen to deliver his State of the State speech one week ago virtually. The swearing-in was in person with invited guests only. Guests had to be vaccinated, boosted, masked and provide a negative COVID-19 test from the last 24 hours.
It was another recognition of the pandemic that dominated the second half of the governor’s first term.
“We are turning New Jersey around, just as we said we would four years ago. But that work is not done,” Murphy said.
New Jersey is currently dealing with the coronavirus, political polarization and high property taxes.
“Just because one term has ended and another has begun does not mean that the old challenges fade away,” Murphy said. “We’re going to continue making health care more affordable… And we’re going to keep chopping away at property taxes.”
Much of the governor’s speech focused on initiatives he will continue from his first term.
“It is about moving people forward without leaving people behind,” Murphy said.
But the governor has indicated he will look to pass new gun control laws and make prescription drugs more affordable.
“We continue waging war against a pandemic that has uprooted many of our fellow New Jerseyans’ very sense of security,” Murphy said.
Immediately after his address, Murphy and his family honored the nearly 30,000 lives lost in the pandemic so far with flowers at a flag display outside the War Memorial.
“I renew my pledge to be the governor for all of New Jersey. The governor for everyone who voted for me and for everyone who did not,” Murphy said.
Despite specific criticisms of Washington, D.C. and veiled criticisms of former President Donald Trump, the governor vowed to reach out to Republicans in the State House and listen to those who disagree with him.
“Let’s rise above party labels to do good things, lasting things, for every New Jerseyan,” Murphy said.
The head of the New Jersey Republican state committee said in a statement that the GOP is ready to work with the governor on issues like affordability but that they’ll oppose him on all fronts if the governor ignores the narrow result of the last election.