Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce issued the following comments on Gov. Phil Murphy’s first Stat of the State Speech

Governor Murphy’s State of the State speech was a masterpiece of progressive rhetoric; but it was a dismal failure for laying out a vision on how he is going to make New Jersey more economically competitive and more affordable for the state’s middle-class residents.

There was nothing in the speech that gave solace to the homeowners and job seekers in Morris, Passaic or Essex counties who are burdened by incredibly high property taxes and too few good paying jobs. We heard nothing in the governor’s vision for New Jersey about lessening the huge property tax burden on hard working homeowners and renters.

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The governor failed to address the recent report on the number of people fleeing New Jersey and the reasons they are leaving. There was nothing in the speech that would alter anyone’s plans to leave New Jersey for a more tax friendly state with better job opportunities.

While the governor’s lengthy criticism of the way the state Economic Development Authority operates to fund job retention may be justified; he failed to grasp the opportunity to show the state and the rest of the country that New jersey is ready to be economically competitive by doing the one thing that must be done – which is to cut taxes.

While the governor pointed to Massachusetts’s ability to attract business with fewer tax incentives; he failed to mention that the Bay State has a lower corporate tax rate than New Jersey.  He failed to mention that according to The Tax Foundation’s measurement of business tax climate, Massachusetts ranks 29th in the nation and New Jersey is dead last at 50. The governor said nothing about how he would address that. 

The state of the State of New Jersey from the progressive perspective is doing just fine. The governor is doubling down on more taxpayer money for “free” college education, drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants, and marijuana legalization. But from the perspective of the struggling middle class families and young people seeking good jobs, the state of New Jersey is dismal and there is little hope of it getting better any time soon.

I truly hope the governor soon recognizes that his progressive agenda is not working for the vast majority of people in New Jersey. “