Gov. Murphy highlights racial wealth gap in State of the State Address

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Governor Phil Murphy delivers his second State of the State address in Trenton on January 14, 2020. (Edwin J. Torres/ Governor’s Office)
Urban News Staff Reports

Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his second State of the State Address at the State House in Trenton this week. Murphy highlighted accomplishments from his first two years in office, outlined priorities to address the challenges ahead, and reaffirmed his commitment to making smart investments in the middle class, restoring fiscal responsibility, and changing the culture of Trenton.

“As a new year and a new decade unfold, our job has not changed. Our mission is to lift New Jersey up, and to make it stronger, fairer, and more resilient – so our residents can feel more secure not just in their futures, but also in their children’s,” said Murphy. “We reflect today on the great strides we have made, and we join together to address the challenges that have developed and deepened across a generation, so we can continue building a brighter future.”

In his address, Murphy called on his colleagues to join together and build on the economic and social progress made during the first two years of his Administration, which include job and wage growth, the nation’s leading efforts to tackle gun violence, and monumental criminal justice reform, among other achievements.

He also highlighted protecting women’s health through nearly $20 million in state funding for Title X and family planning services. Murphy mentioned Nurture NJ campaign inited by his wife, First Lady, and the signage of legislation to combat New Jersey’s maternal and infant health crisis and provide health benefits coverage for fertility preservation services.

We will continue the strong partnerships the First Lady has created across the state – government officials and legislators, health care practitioners, faith leaders, and community activists – to combat our Black infant and maternal mortality crisis," Murphy said. "We will not stop until New Jersey is the safest state in the nation to give birth."

Murphy also spoke about creating a wealth disparity task force to inform the work of closing racial wealth gaps across the state. He said the problem is have a profound impact on Black and Latino residents.

"I am creating a new task force – government officials, academic researchers, and faith and community leaders – with the specific charge to address wealth disparity from all angles and all causes," he said. "Their work will better inform our work in closing these gaps, and ensure that the communities which have historically been left behind can help us lead."

"The Governor closed by saying that the state's current issues area result of past administrations who took more care of "special interests and the well-connected." Murphy said he wants to change the culture of Trenton and restore investment in citizens.

"We’re now two years into this journey together, and look how far we’ve come," he said. And, yet, we have so much more to do and so much more to fix, And, as we do so, we will continue to be who we said we’d be. And, we will keep making New Jersey stronger and fairer for everyone who calls our state home."

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