Murphy Unveils Economic Restart and Recovery Commission

At today’s COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission. The commission is tasked with advising the administration on the timing and preparation for New Jersey’s recovery from its pandemic-induced shutdown.

“No one has seen how an advanced economy returns from a global pandemic,” Murphy said. “But our economy is going to get a restart. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.”

Murphy said that the commission will begin virtual meetings immediately as the administration tackles the work of restarting the state and putting New Jerseyans back to work. Among the commission’s first tasks will be to advise the governor on the timing of the restart as it aligns with predetermined public health metrics.

Ken Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck, and Shirley Tilghman, president emerita of Princeton University, will serve as the commission’s co-chairs.

A total of 21 members will make up the commission, all with a “vast wealth of experience” in healthcare, business small and large, finance, academics, arts, economics and more, according to Murphy, who said the group’s diverse representation key.

“I am confident that with input from thoughtful people, including scientific and healthcare experts, we will be able to recommend a responsible path forward to reopen the economy while continuing to keep New Jersey citizens safe,” Frazier said. “Together, we will win this fight against the viral outbreak.”

Murphy added that the commission will not only address core economic issues, but also: advise on issues of public health, workforce development and transportation; seek ways to maximize future federal support; review potential long-term investments; and ensure restart and recovery works for every family.

The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission members include:

Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman (Co-Chair) – Professor of Molecular Biology & Public Policy and President Emeritus of Princeton University

Kenneth Frazier (Co-Chair) – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co., Inc.

Dr. Ben Bernanke – Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Brookings Institution and former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Dr. Richard Besser – President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Acting Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Evelyn McGee Colbert – Founding Board Member and President of the Board of Montclair Film and Vice President of Spartina Productions

Tony Coscia – Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Partner and Executive Committee member of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP law firm and Chairman of Suez North America Inc.

Jessica Gonzalez – Founder & Chief Executive Officer of InCharged, VendX, and Lux-UVC

Dr. Jonathan Holloway – Incoming President of Rutgers University and former Provost of Northwestern University

Lisa P. Jackson – Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple Inc., former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Jeh Johnson – Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP

Charles Lowrey – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Financial, Inc.

Denise Morrison – Founder of Denise Morrison & Associates, LLC and a Senior Advisor for PSP Partners.  Former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Campbell Soup Company.

Dr. William Rodgers – Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor

Neera Tanden – President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Reverend Dr. Regena Thomas – Director of the Human Rights and Community Relations Department of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and former New Jersey Secretary of State

Richard Trumka – President of the AFL-CIO

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver – Lt. Governor, State of New Jersey

George Helmy – Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Judith Persichilli – New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner

Matt Platkin – Chief Counsel, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Kathleen Frangione – Chief Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Property Taxes and Updated COVID-19 Impact

Murphy also signed an executive order today that permits municipal governments to expand the grace period for property tax payments due May 1 until June 1.

“Leaders of towns and cities across the state have been trying to find ways to lessen the blow on local residents, and with this action, they are empowered to provide relief to homeowners as we continue to do everything possible to fight this pandemic,” he said.

New Jersey now has a total of 113,856 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, after 2,887 new cases were reported overnight. Additionally, the state’s death toll due to the virus has risen to 6,442, after 402 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.

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