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Legislative Updates

Governor Murphy Delivers 2024 State of the State Address

On Tuesday, January 9, the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) attended Governor Phil Murphy’s annual State of the State Address, which laid out the Governor's policy initiatives for the new year.

On his efforts to make New Jersey a more affordable place to live, Governor Murphy called on the Legislature to advance a medical debt relief legislative package that will help families avoid falling into debt due to unpaid healthcare bills. Additionally, the Governor asked the Legislature to pass affordable housing legislation introduced by Legislative leadership .

The Governor touted his previous accomplishments, including doubling the number of apprenticeship programs and heavy investments in transportation infrastructure, including the Gateway Program. As it relates to small businesses, he highlighted that nearly $1 billion in small business relief has been dispersed through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) during the tenure of his Administration.

Governor Murphy also announced a new “AI Moonshot” initiative, which seeks to make New Jersey a leader in the generative Artificial Intelligence industry. Building on his recent announcement of the creation of an AI Innovation Hub in partnership with Princeton University and the NJEDA, the Governor plans to leverage state and private funding to catalyze innovations in AI that will create jobs in this new industry and position the state as a leader in the field.

After the speech concluded, Christina Renna, president & CEO of the CCSNJ released the following statement:

“As we move to a fresh start in the new legislative session, the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) is eagerly anticipating further actions from the Administration that prioritize economic development for the entire state. In the State of the State Address, Governor Murphy unveiled his “AI Moonshot,” a plan to make the state a leader in artificial intelligence that will create new economic opportunities and jobs for New Jersey. The CCSNJ looks forward to being part of these discussions and will be vocal in reminding the Administration that South Jersey is well-positioned to lead in this area, with the South Jersey Technology Park located at Rowan University and various “Eds and Meds” corridors throughout the region perfectly suited for advancements in AI.

Additionally, the Governor correctly stated that large-scale transportation infrastructure projects are crucial to the state’s economic growth and the CCSNJ wholeheartedly agrees. The Hudson Tunnel Rail Project is just one example of such investment, however the CCSNJ encourages the Administration to pursue additional transportation infrastructure projects in South Jersey where public transit is scare, and the regional workforce suffers as a result. 

In his speech, the Governor noted that the NJEDA has delivered nearly $1 billion to small businesses, and the CCSNJ agrees that the Authority should be lauded for their incredible commitment to assuring New Jersey’s Main Streets are strong. However, the simple fact is that much of this assistance is disproportionately allocated to the northern and central parts of the state, regardless of the regional disparity in population. While the CCSNJ appreciates the Administration’s work in providing business assistance, the CCSNJ looks forward to discussions around how various incentives can be better tailored to reach the needs of South Jersey. 

As always, the CCSNJ is grateful for the ability to be a present and welcome voice in conversation with the Administration on how to ensure that South Jersey is a part of the continued progress of the state and looks forward to working with policymakers this coming year.”

 To read Governor Murphy’s 2024 State of the State Address, click here.

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Hilary Chebra

Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ

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