- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Excerpts from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s inaugural address, as prepared for delivery on Tuesday:


“At this time, with the challenges facing our state and its people, our leadership and vision must once again align. For too long, too much has been done only for the short-term and only from self-interest. The long-term common good, along with our confidence and optimism about what we can achieve, has suffered. New Jersey was once renowned for big ideas, and can be again. The public is tired of pessimistic and short-sighted thinking. They have rejected the politics of division, of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, and asked us to focus on ‘we’ - all nine million who call this great state home.”


“And, for those of you who are debating whether to stay in New Jersey or leave, or perhaps, considering moving here from elsewhere, I commit to you - many years from now, when you look back, planting your flag in New Jersey will have been one of the smartest decisions you ever made.”


“We can once again be the state that leads the nation in progressive policies and puts common sense and our residents first in line. We can, and will, stand for the right things.”


“We will have a budget that is balanced fiscally and morally. We will be bold, but we will be responsible and realistic. And in doing so we will send a loud and clear message that our days of muddling through from crisis to crisis are over - that we will charge forward with bold ideas and with a recognition that, while we can’t change everything overnight, we also can’t create a stronger tomorrow unless we start making smart investments today.”


“We must also immediately resist Washington’s all-out assault on New Jersey. This is not as much a battle between Democrats and Republicans, but a battle between right and wrong - between standing up for the people of New Jersey or standing for failed Washington politics.

“We will resist every move from President Trump and a misguided Congressional leadership that would worsen income inequality; or divide families or deny access to college for our Dreamers; or defund essential infrastructure; or gut health care for our children, seniors, and the working poor; or provide a tax windfall to giant corporations and billionaires at the expense of our working and middle-class families.

“We will resist the dangerous and wrong attempt to allow drilling for oil off our precious shore. We will not allow this threat to our environment and our economy to stand. Our administration, along with the bipartisan support of our federal delegation, will not back down in our fight to protect the Jersey Shore from President Trump and the energy industry special interests.

“We will resist every attempt to define who is, and who is not, a real American, to delegitimize our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, or to divide us based on how we worship. And we must reject President Trump’s dark belief of an America in decline and in carnage.”


“To Governor Christie, on behalf of our state, I thank you for your over two decades of public service to New Jersey. There is much in your body of work from which to choose, but, in particular, your work to save lives from the epidemic of opioid addiction is a legacy worth applauding and continuing, and I intend to do so.”

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