Two North Jersey GOP Senators found fault with Gov. Phil Murphy’s State of the State when it comes to the effects his policies have had on the Garden State.
“Clearly, the Governor’s version of the state’s condition is nothing like the reality experienced by everyday New Jerseyans,” said State Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40). “(The) address was further proof that Murphy is detached from State residents. He doesn’t understand us because he isn’t one of us.”
State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) added, “The simple fact is, even with the unforeseen disruptions and challenges to our lives last year, the State of the State could be stronger if we didn’t have unnecessary missteps from this administration.”
For 40 minutes, Murphy extolled his vision, framed through his legislative victories since being elected in 2017 that he believes is enabling those that live and work in New Jersey to survive the coronavirus pandemic and position it to grow on the other side.
“Although wounded deeply, we enter 2021 tougher than ever, wiser than before, and ready to move forward together,” said Murphy. “We are making the fight against COVID-19 one that engages every New Jerseyan.”
The governor later added “Everything, together, shows the promise of the new, post-COVID day that is just beginning to dawn. It’s a day we will enter not fearing what’s next, but knowing where we’re heading. And that direction is forward.”
Corrado responded that after “one of the worst years on record for our state, the Governor spent a half hour patting himself on the back. He cannot relate to the challenges, the struggles, the worries of working families and seniors on fixed incomes who has suffered immeasurably during the pandemic.”
The Passaic County lawmaker went on to list the missteps she believes the Murphy administration’s has made over the last 10 months, including the mismanagement of the coronavirus in veteran’s homes and long-term care facilities, the vaccine rollout being one of the slowest in the nation and the systemic incompetence at unemployment and the Motor Vehicle Commission.
“The business landscape will take decades to recover from the damage of Murphy’s lockdowns and restrictions that devastated Main Streets from one end of the state to the other,” stated Corrado, noting that more than one-third of all small businesses in New Jersey have closed their doors forever. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost.”
Garden State Struggles
“New Jersey residents deserve investigations, accountability and leadership. Instead Murphy took a victory lap and reveled in his alternative reality,” she stated. “What are you looking at, Governor?”
State Sen. Bucco said that while New Jerseyeans are resilient, many are facing an enormous struggle after a difficult year.
“New Jersey was not the only state to make this mistake, but our results were horrible” stated Bucco. “Unfortunately, New Jersey’s COVID mortality rate is the worst in the country, and even worse than any country in the world. That’s not okay, and I urge Republicans and Democrats alike to examine what happened, hold people accountable, and make sure it never happens again.”
More Transparency Needed
As a result, the Morris County lawmaker is calling for more transparency, claiming Murphy has repeatedly blocked efforts to to release documents that “could help us to prevent these mistakes from happening again. It is not acceptable in a free society to block public documents from the press.”
Bucco went on to question the governor’s reliance on executive orders during the pandemic, decisions that have hurt the state’s economy.
“The governor repeatedly said that ‘data determines dates,’ but has not shared what metrics guide his unilateral decisions,” the state senator opined. “Because of that, his decisions and executive orders can seem arbitrary and unpredictable. This has made it difficult for our restaurants and Main Street shops to plan for their survival.”
Additionally, he chided Murphy for exaggerating the state’s budget deficit to gain support for tax increases and to convince the courts to support a massive borrowing plan.
“This will impact the state’s finances and cost our taxpayers for years to come, robbing critical funding of our schools, infrastructure and property tax relief, to instead pay off massive debt for decades,” said Bucco. “Our state is now facing another financial rating downgrade, the lowest point in history.”
But Bucco was hopeful that Murphy would work with GOP lawmakers, finding bipartisan consensus on issues that matter to our state.
“These tumultuous times demand we transcend partisanship,” he stated. “Our caucus pledges to work with our colleagues across the aisle to do what’s in the best interest of New Jersey. We will be unafraid to debate when we think they or the governor are wrong, and we also are unafraid to extend our hands in friendship and cooperation to help our state and country get through these challenging times.”