NJ Government Creates Restart and Recovery Commission

What You Need to Know about the Recovery Plan of the Government of New Jersey

May 8, 2020 –Twenty-one members will comprise Governor Phil Murphy’s new Commission, which will have the perplexing task of advising the State Government of the steps and timing for New Jersey’s recovery from the catastrophic effects of COVID-19.

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 131 on April 28, 2020, and the Commission shall be purely advisory in nature.

The Commission will address questions regarding the safe reopening of establishments as well as short-term and long-term economic issues faced by the State. In addition, they will be advising on prospective investments that would help speed up the recovery of New Jersey’s economy and benefit the State long-term.

EO No. 131 empowers the Commission to call out any department or agency to supply it with data necessary for the Commission’s functions.

21 members from the public and private sectors

Making the 21-member team are the following esteemed personalities with a wealth of experience in the fields of health care, business, academics, finance, and economics:

  • 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.
  • Ben Bernanke– Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Brookings Institution and former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • 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 & CEO of InCharged, VendX, and Lux-UVC
  • 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.
  • 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

Shirly Tilghman, a Princeton Professor and former University President, and Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck and Co., Inc., will lead the team as chairpersons of the Commission.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, George Helmy, Judith Persichilli, Matt Platkin, and Kathleen Frangione shall be ex-officio members in their official capacity.

The creation of a Restart and Recovery Commission is in line with Governor Murphy’s 6-point recovery plan towards restoring New Jersey’s economic health.

Governor Murphy Lays down 6-Point Recovery Plan

On April 27, 2020, Governor Murphy unveiled his plan for responsibly, methodically and strategically reopening New Jersey after more than a month of being on shutdown.

“The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health” outlines six key principles that will guide the process to rebuild New Jersey’s economy.

“Our priority is to use science, data, and facts to put New Jersey on the road to recovery. In order to restore economic health, we must first promote public health,” said Governor Murphy in a press release.

The following are the key principles and metrics that will guide the process of lifting the restrictions and nursing back to health New Jersey’s economy:

Principle 1: Demonstrate sustained reductions in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Principle 2: Expand testing capacity. This includes doubling current diagnostic testing capacity and creating a flexible testing plan for New Jerseyans.

Principle 3: Implement robust contact tracing. This includes utilizing technological data and innovative solutions to accurately and efficiently identify and follow up with contacts.

Principle 4: Secure safe places and resources for isolation and quarantine.

Principle 5: Execute a responsible economic restart. This includes creating the Restart and Recovery Commission, continuing social distancing measures, requiring face coverings, and recommending work from home directions.

Principle 6: Ensure New Jersey’s Resilience. This includes building New Jersey’s own supply of personal protective equipment and ventilators and creating a “playbook” for forthcoming pandemics that future administrations could face.