Gov. Murphy graded on his first 100 days

Gov. Murphy graded on his first 100 days

26 Nisan 2018 - 02:00

Wednesday will mark 100 days since Democrat Phil Murphy took over for Republican Chris Christie as New Jersey governor. 

So how's he done so far?

We asked a bunch of people in the know — state lawmakers, political scientists, a union official, an environmental leader, and Murphy himself — to give his first few months a letter grade. Here's what they said. 

And we want to know what you think. You can give him your own grade below.


Former Gov. Tom Kean is shown in Madison last month. 

Photo by Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media for

New Jersey governor 1982-90

GRADE: Incomplete

Kean, a Republican, gives Murphy "an A for aspirations."

"I think he's got the right priorities and this has been a time to set priorities, and I wish him well. The tough period is coming and that's what he'll be judged on and whether or not he's got an agenda, which I like, but then he has some proposals to pay for it that most people don't like. So there has to be some compromise."

Kean noted that Murphy's plan for free community college can "help with income inequality."

"A high school education is not enough, and some people just can’t afford county college. Enabling more people to have that chance is, of all the things you can do, that's probably one of the best things you can do to address income inequality across the country."

Kean said preschool for all children — another Murphy proposal — "is proven to be effective"

"But I don't think you can do it through all taxes. I think he's going to find some spending reductions." (Murphy proposes a new tax on millionaires, increasing the sales tax from 6.625 percent to 7 percent, taxing ride-sharing services like Uber and home-sharing services like Airbnb, and legalizing and taxing marijuana).

"He has wonderful, wonderful priorities. But if he doesn’t come through with them or does them all by raising taxes, I’ll give him a failing grade."

Murphy Sweeney.png
File photo

Political science professor, Montclair State University


Harrison said Murphy is "checking off policy boxes to placate constituencies who have felt neglected over the course of the Christie administration."

"And he is succeeding at doing that. But I also feel like he is missing the big picture in terms of his relationship with the state Legislature. And in doing so, he's potentially setting himself up for longterm failure."

Harrison noted that what Murphy should be doing now is "fostering a relationship" with state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, the state's top lawmaker. Instead, Murphy and Sweeney have been off to a rocky start.

Working with Sweeney, Harrison said, is "the way to get funding for his policy initiatives passed, to avoid a government shutdown, and to get a budget favorable to his worldview or his view of what the state should look like."

"I think it's also in the best interests of the (Democratic) party and for the constituencies of New Jersey."


State Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, appears at a Murphy campaign event in North Brunswick in November.

Photo Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media

Former governor and current state senator, D-Essex


Codey, a close Murphy ally and the longest-serving state lawmaker in New Jersey history, said he'd give the governor an even greater grade if it weren't for one of his fashion choices.

"I'd give him an A+, but he's had his hat on backwards," Codey joked.

"He's shown he's a leader, and he's also shown he's a gentleman."


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