ITL Volume 13 Issue 14 - Tuesday, October 4, 2022

New Poll: Murphy’s Approval rating at 54%, Speaker Coughlin Leads NJ Delegation to White House, Remembering Governor James J. Florio & more

New Poll: Murphy’s Approval rating at 54%

According to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released this week, surveying more than 1,000 New Jersey residents, 54% approve of the governor’s job performance while 37% disapprove. At the same time, 47% have a favorable general impression of Murphy, while 33% have an unfavorable one.

The last time a Rutgers-Eagleton poll asked those questions in March, residents were split on his approval, with 49% approving and 46% disapproving. And a 38% plurality had an unfavorable impression of him while 33% had a favorable one.

“Driven by increased positivity among Democrats and independents, Governor Murphy’s numbers are now back to where they were this time last year — not at his pandemic highs, but better than when he started his first term and certainly better than six months ago,” poll Director Ashley Koning said in a statement that accompanied the results. “The fatigue of a gubernatorial election and a pandemic seem to have worn off as life and governing in the state return to some sense of normal.”

Speaker Coughlin Leads NJ Delegation to White House  

On Wednesday, the White House convened leaders from across the country to host the nation’s first Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in over 50 years. Among the invited guests making their way to Washington are a group from New Jersey, comprised of Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin, President and CEO Carlos Rodriguez of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Executive Director Mark Dinglasan of New Jersey’s Office of the Food Security Advocate, and individuals with lived experiences of food insecurity.

“Over the last five years, knowing that it is our moral obligation to tackle hunger, I’ve worked to make food security one of our top legislative priorities in New Jersey,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. 

New Jersey’s commitment to take action on food insecurity is evidenced by the historic $85 million investment in the Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget – almost three times the direct allocation in last year’s budget. It is a year-to-year funding effort that has combined with the signing of more than 30 pieces of anti-hunger legislation since 2018 to boost the state’s initiatives and response to the ongoing hunger crisis.

Remembering Governor James J. Florio

Former New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, widely recognized for his landmark initiatives on gun control and environmental protection, passed away on Sunday. The former amateur boxer and U.S. Navy officer, who served 15 years in Congress before becoming New Jersey’s 49th governor, was 85.

As a congressman from south Jersey, Florio authored the nation’s Superfund law to clean up heavily polluted sites that plagued the Garden State. As Governor, Florio spearheaded several important issues, including the nation’s toughest ban on assault weapons and laws overhauling auto insurance and school funding.

“Governor Florio was a man who never backed down from a tough fight throughout his time as Assemblyman, Congressman, and Governor. Though he didn’t win them all, he was ahead of his time in many ways. From a ban on assault rifles to his efforts to balance our state budget to his efforts to protect the pensions of union workers, many of the issues Governor Florio brought to the forefront are still being debated today,” said RCSG Partner Kevin McCabe.

A celebration of the life and legacy of Governor Florio will be held on Monday, October 3rd at 2:00 PM at the Dennis Flyer Theater at Lincoln Hall at Camden Community College.

New Legislator Profile: Assemblywoman Shama Haider (D-37)

Assemblywoman Shama Haider was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in November 2021. Assemblywoman Haider is a full-time legislator and has previously served on the Tenafly Borough Council from 2001-2003, and then again from 2015-2018.

Assemblywoman Haider currently serves on the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee and the Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.

Assemblywoman Haider is a graduate of the University of Punjab in Pakistan.