In his State of the State Address, Gov. Phil Murphy laid out a road map of active support for New Jersey’s working families. His plans for 2021 will add to his three years of pro-labor accomplishments that include the steadily increasing minimum wage, earned sick leave, expanded paid family leave, and a host of emergency relief laws and executive orders that battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic ruin it caused.
“Governor Murphy is putting New Jersey’s working families first,” Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, said. “Many working families are struggling every day just to get by.
“The governor and Legislature stepped in with aid when the federal government did not,” President Wowkanech pointed out. “Through Governor Murphy’s leadership, we have a clear plan to put people back to work in well-paying union jobs.”
Key pro-labor elements of the governor’s agenda for his fourth year in office include:
- Building on his recently signed business incentives program to add more good union jobs.
- Expanding affordable child care for working families.
- Completion of the Portal Bridge on the Northeast Corridor rail line, and working with the incoming Biden administration to fund the Gateway Project to add rail tunnels under the Hudson River, which the governor said would provide thousands of new union jobs.
- Making New Jersey the nation’s leader in wind energy through the South Jersey Wind Port and the union-staffed turbine manufacturing plant in Paulsboro.
- Seeking state legislation to assist renters and home buyers facing eviction or other housing insecurity, and eliminating “food deserts” as well.
- Setting up an efficient early-voting system, because working people are the backbone of our democracy.
- COVID-19 vaccination of every adult New Jersey resident who asks for a shot.
- Rooting out systemic racism and other biases, because diversity and civil rights are labor rights, and a fair justice system aligns with the values of the Labor Movement.
“Governor Murphy is promising real progress for New Jersey,” President Wowkanech concluded. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the governor and the state Legislature as we all work to revive New Jersey’s hard-hit economy.”