As if confirming Sunlight’s latest report on Gov. Murphy’s unfinished business in New Jersey, the Wall Street Journal‘s lead editorial reported on a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) on COVID outcomes, which looked at states’ economic recoveries, education policies and mortality rates. Under Murphy, New Jersey came in DEAD LAST among the 50 states.
The editorial notes that the bottom 10 states, including last-place New Jersey: “had the most stringent lockdowns and were among the last to reopen schools. Their economies are for the most part still behind most others in recovering from the pandemic.”
As for New Jersey in particular, the Journal had some harsh – but truthful – words: “New Jersey ranked last with a miserable performance across the board. Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t save lives, but he did savage the economy and punish students as he followed the teachers union demands on school closures …”
This is precisely what Sunlight found in its report. With Murphy reportedly eyeing a presidential run, Sunlight highlighted four major problems that Murphy has left unresolved: student learning loss due to Murphy’s extended school closures, an underperforming economy and jobs market, a large structural budget deficit and an unreformed and severely underfunded teachers’ pension fund. All of these problem areas remain unresolved because, as the Journal noted, Murphy chose to cater to the NJEA’s demands.
So the Journal and NBER have basically confirmed what Sunlight concluded. The message for New Jersey is that before your governor hits the presidential campaign trail, he has a lot of unfinished business in New Jersey.