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Poll: Murphy at 100 Days — off the Charts or off the Mark?

Rather than assessing the governor’s first 100 days, we’d like to know how our readers rank and rate him

Gov. Phil Murphy just finished his 100th day in office. That period has become something of a measuring stick for political figures, a time when the press and others can assess someone’s tenure. Murphy marked it with a speech touting his accomplishments to date.

So far, Murphy has signed seven laws, which is three more than his predecessor had at this point in his tenure. Most of them embody the promises and values Murphy espoused on the campaign trail and are uncontroversial with fellow Democrats in the Legislature. They include the restoration of $7.5 million for family-planning services, entering the state into an alliance to uphold the Paris Climate Accord, and a guarantee of equal pay for women.

Murphy boasted of other accomplishments, including his diverse cabinet, which comprises a female majority for the first time in state history, and his work with nearby states to find regional solutions to gun violence. He set improvements at New JerseyTransit and a move toward free tuition at state community colleges as budget priorities. And he has started the process of creating a market for offshore wind energy.

There have been stumbling blocks, though; most notably, the pushback on school aid and tax proposals from fellow Democrats who lead both houses of the Legislature.

Rather than grading Murphy ourselves, we thought we would ask our readers to evaluate the new governor’s performance during his first 100 days.

How do you rate Murphy?

  • It is so good to have New Jersey following a progressive agenda again. He has struck just the right chord with the first priorities he set by enacting an equal-pay law, expanding voter rolls through automatic registration, and stressing the importance of climate change and the environment. We need to fix our mass-transit system without fare hikes, and his funding proposals for all levels of schooling are on the mark. Of course, we have to pay for these and a millionaires tax is the fairest way to do so.

  • Murphy is off to a good start. I like what he has done so far in the area of healthcare, particularly by expanding access to medical marijuana, restoring the money for Planned Parenthood, and providing greater access to family-planning services under Medicaid. He has also taken the right first steps toward addressing gun violence. Nobody’s perfect, and he’s generally taken on the low-hanging fruit — things all Democrats and even some Republicans support. He still has a long way to go to fix this state but I’d give him a “B,” which is still a good grade.

  • The first 100 days have been a mixed bag. Most of his social and environmental moves have been right on, but his fiscal policy is somewhat lacking. I’m uncomfortable with higher taxes in general. And I’d also like a lot more information about legalizing marijuana before we head down that route. He talks a lot about property taxes but has done little to stop mine from rising again this year. To my mind, he gets a poor in the category, “plays well with others.” I’m sure there’s blame on both sides, but maybe if he tried harder, Murphy would get along better with Sen. President Steve Sweeney and be able to get more accomplished.

  • His first 100 days has been more style than substance for the average New Jerseyan. I care about job creation and economic growth, and I haven’t seen any policies that will help in these areas. He’s got to get real about school funding; many districts are suffering while Jersey City gets an extra $175 million. How many ways can we say it? We pay too much in property taxes! And where’s the increased transparency we were expecting? Murphy seems to make a lot of pronouncements, but he doesn’t answer many questions.

  • This is a disaster. Murphy’s call for raising taxes on millionaires and boosting the sales tax back to 7 percent are bad enough, but he’s also going to allow Homestead tax credit to be cut in half. His school aid proposal and flat municipal funding mean property-tax hikes for sure, not to mention his refusal to reinstate the cap on binding-arbitration awards. But he has money for county colleges and pre-K programs? Our gun-control laws are already too tough. I don’t consider any of this fair. Is it too early to start the recall petition?

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