State of the State speech on Tuesday: What will be Murphy’s ‘Act 3’?
Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his State of the State address on Tuesday. What’s he going to be talking about?
Ben Dworkin, the director of the Rowan University Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship, is expecting Murphy to tout accomplishments over the past two years and give us a preview of his front-burner issues for 2020.
“What we’re looking for is what is the Third Act of the Murphy administration?" he said.
“Act 1 was enacting all of the progressive legislation that was stopped by Gov. Christie in the previous eights years,” which he said included equal-pay rules, family medical leave, funding Planned Parenthood and NJ Transit, pushing the minimum wage increase and several pieces of gun control legislation.
Dworkin pointed out Act 2 last year was all about the Economic Development Authority and the use of tax credits.
“So what we’re looking for on Tuesday, is really what’s Act 3 gonna be: Is the governor going to say we’re on the right track or will there be some new galvanizing idea?”
He said the Murphy will likely trumpet many of his efforts that are designed to support the middle class, including free community college.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University polling institute also expects the governor to tout efforts being made to help middle class residents of New Jersey.
“That is an area where I think the governor understands he needs to do better in terms of communicating that he’s on the job.”
He said Murphy must do more in this area because “one of the criticisms of Phil Murphy has been that most of his emphasis so far has been on pleasing liberal constituent groups.”
Murray said part of the governor’s push to rehabilitate NJ Transit is because doing so will help middle class commuters.
“And I think we might see something big in some other area he can tout as a middle-class kind of policy area that has a wide impact on a whole host of New Jerseyans for the coming year.”
Dworkin also noted it’s important to keep in mind that “the governor at this point is running for re-election — he has two years to make sure both his party is unified behind him as well as the general electorate.” That means Murphy will be pushing “those things that he finds to be both good politics and good policy.”
Murray believes Murphy will also be appealing to voters in other states.
“He’s entering the national stage as chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association. He has national ambitions and so there’s a Democratic base that he’s going to play to as well."
Also on New Jersey 101.5:
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com