TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his State of the State address today, touting his accomplishments and plans for the future.
He started his speech with a moment of respect for the wife of Jersey City detective Joseph Seals, the man killed during an act of domestic terrorism five weeks ago in Jersey City, reports CBS2’s Meg Baker.
“Our state was shattered by the gunfire of anti-Semitism and hate,” said Murphy
With that he went on to say how recent events have only brought the state together.
“The state of our state is stronger and fairer than ever before,” he said.
That’s been the governor’s motto: Murphy lobbied for and, with the legislature, raised the minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour.
He says he also continues to fight for the middle class.
“The millionaire’s tax will allow us to ease the property tax burden literally on millions of middle-class families and seniors, and do more to help fund our public schools,” said Murphy.
“The legislature, controlled by Democrats, don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to raise the income tax, nor do they want to raise sales tax,” said political expert Jeanette Hoffman.
Following the address, the Republicans responded.
“There’s an exodus of people from the state because of high property taxes, because of high sales tax, because of high income taxes and because of high corporate taxes,” said Jon Bramick. “This is the tax state, people cannot afford to stay here.”
NJ TRANSIT is always a hot topic. Critis say the governor has not done enough in the past two years to fix chronic problems.
“Commuters don’t care that their train came on time yesterday, they need it to come on time regularly,” said transit expert Janna Chernetz.
“The series of reforms we are undertaking and the hundreds of millions of dollars in state budget investments we have restored are unquestionably improving things,” said Murphy.
The governor also focused on ethics reforms in Trenton.
“Today, I’m calling for us all to work together to tear down the existing system and replace it with one that treats everyone with equal dignity and respect,” said Murphy. “I am calling on my partners in government to join me in this mission.”
A topic not mentioned: Legalizing marijuana. Murphy had promised to do this change within the first 90 days in office, but the plan lacked support. Now lawmakers are trying to get it on the November ballot to let the voters decide.
Other plans for the future include additional funding to remediate lead in pipes and in paint in homes throughout the state.