Home>Governor>Murphy says virtual State of the State was right move, but doesn’t explain in-person inaugural

Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his virtual State of the State Address on January 12, 2021. (Pool Photo: Ed Murray of NJ Advance Media.)

Murphy says virtual State of the State was right move, but doesn’t explain in-person inaugural

By David Wildstein, January 10 2022 3:19 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy defended his decision to deliver his State of the State address virtually on Tuesday and not in-person to a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature but stopped short of explaining why his own inauguration on January 18 will be an indoors, in-person event.

“That requires a lot of people in a room together, so I think there’s a question of scale,” Murphy said of the State of the State.  “I think doing a State of the State speech where you got a lot of people having to sit there and listen to you speak for half an hour or whatever it is outdoors is a bridge too far.”

Both houses of the legislature met today in-person and will hold a public swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, albeit with a markedly smaller audience than usual.

Murphy said a virtual speech was not his first choice and didn’t rule out an in-person budget address in March.

“I would love to do it in person,” he said.  “I was hoping to do it in person.”

But the governor didn’t say why he’s decided to deliver his own inaugural address at a public event, although the audience is presumably smaller.

Ove the last week, Murphy has attended some local swearing-in ceremonies, including outdoor events in Bergen County and Westfield and an indoor event where he swore in Somerset County commissioners.

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