TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy used the COVID-19 pandemic to make pitch big his “big government” plan for the state of New Jersey. On Thursday, during his daily COVID-19 press conference, Murphy said, “You could make a pretty compelling argument that we’ve never needed government more than we need it right now.”
That statement was in response to a question asked by a reporter regarding which government workers Murphy will furlough and how he will decided who gets furloughed and who does not. The reporter also wanted to know how the already failing unemployment system will keep up with hundreds of thousands of state workers added to the jobless count.
“I commend you for your brevity. Listen on furloughing, I would just say this. I’ve said this, I think publicly, that as a conceptual matter it’s something that we’re open to,” Murphy said. “I don’t know if Judy’s people literally could work more hours in the day. I know, likewise, could Rob’s people. You may be frustrated, but it ain’t because they’re not working. Pat, you’ve got people around the clock. It’s hard to see where we’ve got slack right now. But it’s something, again, I’m not passing judgment on whether or not it may or may not make sense.”