On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Governor Murphy Signs Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Reform Legislation
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to reform New Jersey’s criminal justice system and juvenile justice system. The bills will streamline New Jersey’s parole system, reform requirements for civil asset forfeiture, and fund violence reduction initiatives.
“In New Jersey, we are proud to continue Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight for justice,” said Governor Murphy. “We are deeply committed to ensuring fairness and justice in our criminal justice system, and today we are taking critical steps to ensure the scales of justice work equally for all New Jerseyans. I am proud to sign legislation streamlining our parole system and reforming requirements for civil asset forfeiture, two historic steps to give New Jerseyans the second chance they deserve and ensure accountability and transparency within our system. I am also proud to enact legislation that will fund gun violence prevention programs in our hardest hit-neighborhoods, helping stem the cycle of violence and rebuild communities. Today we honor MLK’s legacy not just by celebrating his achievements in the fight for equality and justice, but by continuing the difficult work he left us to do.”
“Our Administration is committed to ensuring that New Jersey’s youth get the second chance they deserve, and today we’re taking a critical step toward creating a criminal justice system that is just, fair, and truly rehabilitates young lives,” continued Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign sweeping legislation to reform our juvenile justice system and ensure that our young people have the opportunity they deserve to turn their lives around and build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Governor Murphy Signs Sweeping Legislative Package to Combat Worker Misclassification and Exploitation
Acting on his commitment to support and uplift New Jersey workers, Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislative package combatting worker misclassification and exploitation. The bills will crack down on employee misclassification in businesses by allowing stop-work orders against employers violating state wage, benefit, and tax law; providing assessment of penalties for violations in connection with misclassification of employees; and requiring employers to post a notice for their employees regarding employee misclassification, among others.
“We cannot build a stronger and fairer economy without strong workplace protections that ensure fairness for employees,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to sign these bills today to curb this unethical and illegal practice that hurts our working families and exploits New Jersey’s workers.”
"Gov. Murphy has positioned New Jersey to be a leader in the fight against illegal misclassification by giving the Labor Department powerful new compliance and enforcement tools,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “These bills protect employees who are misclassified as independent contractors as well as independent contractors improperly treated as employees, and provide critical support for employers who play by the rules. These bills contain important work rights and protections for both our state’s employees and their employers. Thank you to the dedicated leadership of my colleagues on the Misclassification Task Force, which formulated the recommendations for this package of legislation."
First Lady Tammy Murphy Announces Partnership to Develop Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce New Jersey's Mortality Rate by Fifty Percent and Eliminate Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes
On Maternal Health Awareness Day, First Lady Tammy Murphy today announced the partnership between the Murphy Administration, the Nicholson Foundation, and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership to develop a comprehensive, statewide maternal and infant health strategic plan. The strategic plan, which will build on the Administration’s progress over the past two years, will aim to reduce New Jersey’s maternal mortality rate by fifty percent and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. The plan will be part of the First Lady’s Nurture NJ initiative, which is a statewide awareness campaign committed to reducing infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and ensuring equitable maternal and infant care among women and children of all ethnicities and races.
“In order to improve health outcomes for New Jersey’s mothers and babies, we must continue to work at repairing the centuries of imbedded, institutional racism that has led to disparities in maternal and infant health,” said First Lady Murphy. “As we do this, we are simultaneously working on the factors that contribute to the disparity, including access to healthcare, housing, transportation, nutritious food, quality childcare, workforce development, education, and more. Our comprehensive and innovative strategic plan will incorporate national best practices for improving these factors and identify the best plan to make New Jersey the safest place in the country to give birth.”
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Ban "Gay and Trans Panic" Legal Defense
Governor Phil Murphy signed A1796 into law, which prohibits the use of “gay or trans panic” defenses for charges of criminal homicide. The signing of this bill builds on the Governor’s commitment to expand rights and protections for New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ community.
“We will always stand with our LGBTQ+ community and promote full equality for all our residents,” said Governor Murphy. “Gay and trans panic defenses are rooted in homophobia and abhorrent excuses that should never be used to justify violence against vulnerable populations. With this new law, we are enacting critical measures to protect our friends and neighbors in the LGBTQ+ community.”
“Make no mistake, the ‘panic’ defense is flat-out discriminatory legal malpractice, and no one should ever be excused from murder because their victim is gay or transgender,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director for Garden State Equality. “As hate crimes against LGBTQ New Jerseyans continue to rise and trans people are murdered across the nation, it’s more imperative than ever that we ensure our criminal justice system protects LGBTQ people equally — full stop. Thank you to Governor Murphy for signing this ban into law and sending an unequivocal message that we fully value the lives and dignity of LGBTQ people in New Jersey.”
Governor Murphy Celebrates Milestone for Latest Class of NJ TRANSIT Locomotive Engineers
Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, and NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett recognized NJ TRANSIT’s latest locomotive engineer training class for completing their classroom training. The Governor also announced that his Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal will not include a fare hike for NJ TRANSIT, his third budget proposal in a row to not include an increase in ticket prices for commuters. Under the previous administration, NJ TRANSIT raised fares by 36 percent.
The class of seven trainees will be graduating in the upcoming weeks after they complete the final requirements and certifications necessary to become locomotive engineers with NJ TRANSIT.
“Today, we celebrate another class of future locomotive engineers who will improve safety, reliability, and services for the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who ride NJ TRANSIT every day,” said Governor Murphy. “I am also proud to announce that I will not include a fare hike in my Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal. We are on the path to the resurgence of NJ TRANSIT as a system that commuters can rely on and trust and I want to make sure that riders are not further burdened while we continue working to improve the system.”
Governor Murphy Nominates Kevin D. Walsh as New Jersey State Comptroller
Governor Phil Murphy announced the nomination of Kevin D. Walsh, Esq. to serve as the fourth New Jersey State Comptroller. Walsh’s nomination is subject to advice and consent by the Senate and is for a six-year term. He will begin serving as Acting Comptroller on Monday, January 27.
“As a dedicated public interest attorney, Kevin’s independent and thorough judgement make him an ideal fit to stand up for New Jersey taxpayers as our next State Comptroller,” said Governor Murphy. “Kevin has a proven track record of fighting for civil rights and government accountability, regardless of politics or pressure. I will ask Kevin to continue to uphold the Comptroller Office’s reputation of demonstrating independence of thought and independence of action on behalf of all New Jerseyans.”
“I am deeply honored to be nominated to this important position by Governor Murphy and thank him for his confidence in me,” said Kevin Walsh, Esq. “I am excited to join the Governor's Cabinet and to lead an agency that has made municipal, county, and state entities more effective, more efficient, and more accountable to the people they serve. As State Comptroller, I look forward to serving as an independent voice within government and on behalf of the people of New Jersey.”