Democrat Phil Murphy takes over as NJ governor

Democrat Phil Murphy takes over as NJ governor

Troy Powers
January 17, 2018

Murphy, 60, succeeds Christie after two terms, returning full control of state government to Democrats.

A salute of cannons went off outside of the ceremony and Murphy went down a line of officials shaking hands.

New Jersey's Governor-elect Phil Murphy said Sunday he is working toward a "stronger and fairer economy and society" in "the most diverse state in the United States".

The switch from Christie means that New Jersey will go from a governor who is a friend of President Donald Trump to one that opposes him on many fronts.

The state should work to provide tools for small businesses, Murphy said, instead of delivering massive tax breaks "to a handful of select and connected big corporations that frankly don't need them in the first place". But Christie exits with the lowest approval ratings of any governor in state history.

Murphy set an inclusive tone for his administration - pointing to his diverse senior staff standing on stage behind him, among them the nation's first Sikh attorney general, Gurbir Grewal - and said the public had "rejected the politics of division". The tweet featured Murphy, his wife and their children in a group hug.

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Murphy asked the Legislature to send him bills that raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, promote equal pay for women and paid sick leave for workers, make voting more accessible and strengthen gun laws.

"Our new governor, this coming week, has chosen to come to Wildwood once again to honor our Vietnam wall and the veterans throughout this area and the state", said Ernie Troiano Jr., mayor of Wildwood, "and to let us know that the veterans are no longer going to be put on the back burner - that the Veterans Affairs will be top priority".

Murphy also thanked former Christie for his service and praised his work on the opioid crisis, the AP reported.

"The long-term common good, along with our confidence and optimism about what we can achieve, has suffered", Murphy said. I extend my warmest congratulations to our state's new leadership, Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.

"A stronger and fairer New Jersey funds its public schools and delivers on the promise of property tax relief, makes four-year college more affordable and provides free access to community college", said Murphy in the portion of his speech that touched on several of the issues he ran on, including growing the state's economy, taxing the wealthy, reforming the criminal justice system and legalizing marijuana.

Murphy's commitment to consolidating bipartisan support may be due in part by his intention to push back against policies implemented by President Trump that he believes negatively impact New Jersey.