The Governor’s State of the State Address :
The speech was Governor Murphy’s first in-person State of the State since the pandemic prompted him to give both the 2021 and 2022 addresses virtually. It was his fifth State of the State address overall since the start of his Administration. The 2023 speech was light on substance or major proposals besides the Governor’s announcement of plans to reform New Jersey’s liquor license laws. The Governor also announced a deadline extension for his touted ANCHOR Property Tax Relief program, allowing eligible residents to continue applying through Feb. 28.
Other highlights include first-in-the-nation naloxone initiatives, investments in boardwalks and green spaces, efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, and a promise to sign legislation to deal with car thefts. The speech by in large touted previous accomplishments and reiterated support for issues such as property tax reform and relief, gun rights, and the protection of reproductive rights.
“Over the past five years in office, we have come so far in our efforts to make New Jersey the State of Opportunity,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud of the steps we have taken to support families, advance our economy and better our communities. New Jersey is where opportunity lives, education is valued, justice is embraced, compassion is the norm, and the American Dream is alive and well. And we will not stop working to make New Jersey stronger, fairer, and more affordable. As we move forward with these goals, I believe we can and will shape the next New Jersey on behalf of all who call our state home.”
Remarks, as Prepared for Delivery, can be found here.
Budget Address Forthcoming:
The Governor’s Budget address will occur on February 28, 2023. The highlight to date, is that Governor Murphy expects no new taxes in the 2024 budget. While it remains to be seen if there will be any increase in tolls or fees, it appears there will not be any increases in income or business taxes. This would be the second year without such an increase. The State has relied on the Covid Relief funds and other federal funding during the pandemic to address the State’s budget needs.