Volume 8/Issue 9

  • Governor Murphy Unveils Economic Development Strategic Plan 

Governor Murphy Unveils Economic Development Strategic Plan

Delivering his first major economic policy address, Governor Phil Murphy laid out his vision to revitalize the State's economy on Monday by establishing New Jersey as a "State of Innovation."

Pointing to the State's innovation-centered history, such as Edison's Menlo Park and Bell Labs, and a substantial footprint in the pharmaceutical and life science sectors, the Governor noted there were virtually no net new private sector jobs between 2007 and 2017, while other states were adding jobs.

Governor Murphy attributed the State's lagging economic growth to underinvestment in people and in communities, hindering the ability to develop, attract and retain New Jersey's homegrown workforce.

The Murphy plan lays out five strategic goals for the State to achieve by 2025:

  • Drive faster job growth than all Northeast peer states.
    • Add approximately 300,000 jobs;
  • Drive faster median wage growth than all Northeast peer states.
    • Achieving 4% wage growth or a $1500 increase in median wages;
  • Create the most diverse innovation ecosystem and double venture capital investment
    • Bring in approximately 40,000 more women and minorities into STEM fields and attracting $625 million in new venture capital investment;
  • Closing the racial and gender wage employment gaps
    • Employ approximately 42,000 more women and minorities and increasing wages for those groups by $15,000 to $23,000;
  • Revitalizing New Jersey urban centers and downtowns by reducing civil poverty rates to today's statewide average

To meet these goals by the 2025 deadline, Governor Murphy announced the his Administration will focus on the following strategic priorities:

  • Investing in people by creating NJ Talent.  This includes efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and enacting a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, increasing access to free community colleges, implementing STEM loan forgiveness and providing resources to the State's Apprenticeship and Career Networks.
  • Investing in communities through the NJ Communities Program, focusing on mixed-use, transit-oriented, innovation-centric developments in distressed neighborhoods.    The Administration is also proposing a gap financing program called NJ Aspire and a re-worked State brownfields program to support these communities. 
  • Making New Jersey the State of Innovation through NJ Innovate, with a special focus on both public and private research opportunities.  The NJ Innovation Evergreen Fund will be created to partner the State with the private sector to raise and co-invest funds in State-based startups.  New Jersey's job-creation tax credit program will be streamlined into a new version called the NJ Forward Tax Credit.   The Administration will also invest heavily in the clean energy economy, with an emphasis on making the State the home of the American offshore wind industry by creating the Wind Innovation and New Development Institute.
  • Making Government Work Better through the NJ Accelerate Initiative, which includes launching small business lending programs and creating a dedicated small business unit within the NJ Economic Development Authority and working towards permitting reforms to identify and streamline outdated regulatory processes. 

The Governor noted that some of the new programs will require legislative approval while others can be achieved through administrative actions.  Click here to read the entire economic plan.