One of Murphy’s 1st acts: Equal pay for women executive order
TRENTON — A former Wall Street executive and Obama administration diplomat was sworn in as New Jersey's governor Tuesday, replacing Republican Gov. Chris Christie and returning full control of state government to Democrats.
And among New Gov. Phil Murphy's first acts: He pledged to sign a first-day executive order promoting equal pay for women.
"To my partners in the Legislature: I ask you to send me the bills, among others, to reaffirm our support for women’s health and Planned Parenthood; to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; to promote equal pay for women; to give every worker the peace of mind of earned sick leave; to tear down barriers to voting; and, to strengthen our gun laws," Murphy said in his acceptance speech. "And, I promise you now that they will be met with a signing ceremony instead of a veto pen.
"We don’t have to wait to make our economy stronger and fairer, to attack income inequality, and to protect and grow our middle class. That’s why, later today, in one of my first official acts, I will sign an executive order promoting equal pay for women."
It wasn't immediately clear from the speech what the scope and force of that executive order will be
Murphy's wife, Tammy, and their four children joined him on stage as he was sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, taking the oath on the same Bible that John F. Kennedy used when he was sworn in as president. Murphy, like Kennedy, grew up in Massachusetts. First Lady Tammy Murphy said that her husband is a fan of the Kennedy family and that his late mother-in-law was a volunteer for his 1952 U.S. Senate campaign.
Murphy, 60, succeeds Christie after two terms and promises to take a much different approach toward President Donald Trump's policies. While Christie was a friend and ally, Murphy promises to be an antagonist.
Murphy built his campaign — his first run for elected office— around undoing the Trump administration's efforts on health care, immigration and taxes.
Hinting at Trump's reported vulgar comments last week about immigration, Murphy in his inaugural address called the country a "beacon of light" for immigrants including those from Haiti and Africa.
After the swearing in, a salute of cannons went off outside of the ceremony at the grand War Memorial in Trenton and Murphy went down a line of officials shaking hands.
He hugged Christie and then, in his inauguration speech, praised his work addressing the opioid crisis and his role as a father. He thanked him for over two decades of public service to the state. Christie served as the U.S. attorney in New Jersey before he ran for governor.
The new governor earned his fortune, which he used to help win the Democratic nomination last year, as an executive at Goldman Sachs. The last Democratic governor, Jon Corzine, who Christie ousted in 2009, was also an executive at Goldman Sachs.
Murphy also served several years under the Obama administration as ambassador to Germany.
He takes over from a larger-than-life governor who oversaw the state as its economy rebounded but who also saw his popularity plunge after a failed presidential run and the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal.
He said in his inaugural address that his vision for a "stronger and fairer" New Jersey includes criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. He also promises to raise taxes on millionaires, allies himself with unions and says he will increase payments into the state pension system and school aid.
Murphy inherits a state with growing pension obligations and nearly perennial budget woes. He's said he would bring in new leadership at New Jersey Transit, the state's beleaguered commuter rail and bus agency, and has said the state faces a "fiscal crisis."
Murphy's running mate, former Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, was sworn in as lieutenant governor. An inaugural ball Tuesday night was to be held under a tent at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
At the inauguration, Murphy paid tribute to not only the outgoing administration and former Gov.s Corzine, Jim McGreavy, Tom Kean, Richard Cody and Donald DiFrancisco but also the late Brendan Byrne and his wife Ruthi. Murphy said that the flag presented to Byrne at his funeral was flying over the Statehouse. "Through this gesture, I know that he is with us," Murphy said.
Standing next to her mother, Oliver was sworn in first as the state's second lieutenant governor. In her speech she said that she will be a contributing partner to the Murphy administration.
As community affairs commissioner, she said, her priorities are affordable housing, local government finance, Sandy recovery and recovery of Atlantic City.
The Murphy children spoke about their parents at the ceremony describing their parents as "fun and fun loving and focused on the future"
In the audience, Chris Christie was joined by fellow former governors Jon S. Corzine, Jim McGreevey, Tom Kean, Richard Codey and Donald DiFrancesco. Christie Todd Whitman did not attend.
Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez as well as most of the Congressional delegation were in attendance.
Murphy was born in Needham, Massachusetts.
Staff and wire reports. Includes material copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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