Before we get into our normal week in review, I would first like to offer my heartfelt prayers to the servicemembers killed this week in Afghanistan. These brave heroes put their lives on the line to help U.S. citizens and Afghan refugees exit the country and reach safety. Their sacrifice should never be forgotten. 

After weeks of dishonestly attacking Governor Murphy’s school mask mandate with a barrage of misinformation and blatant lies about COVID-19 not affecting children, Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has abruptly reversed his extreme position and is once again looking for wiggle room to mislead voters. In an interview with Politico NJ, a Ciattarelli campaign spokesperson attempted to walk back the candidate’s anti-science stance, saying that he would “monitor the situation” as cases increase due to the Delta variant as schools prepare to open in September. This comes only a few days after Ciattarelli falsely declared, “children are not vulnerable to the virus.”

We need responsible leadership that will put public health before politics — that’s Governor Murphy, not Jack Ciattarelli.


With the situation in Afghanistan still unfolding, one thing is absolutely clear — it is our collective responsibility to make sure that the allies who provided critical assistance to our servicemen and women are protected. I was proud to see Governor Murphy step up to the plate by sending a letter to President Biden expressing our state’s willingness to welcome Afghan refugees who are fleeing their country in pursuit of freedom. This kind of compassionate leadership is exactly why Governor Murphy exemplifies the kind of people we need in office.


President Biden’s legislative agenda, including the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Democratic budget reconciliation package, continues to move forward in Congress with the support of our state’s delegation. It is critical that all Democrats stick together and work to pass the President’s Build Back Better agenda, which includes massive and much-needed investments in our physical infrastructure as well as social safety net items like the child tax credit, paid family leave, expanded pre-k and more that would help working families thrive. 

— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.