Comparing Blll de Blasio and Phil Murphy's progressive promises

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy

Comparing Blll de Blasio and Phil Murphy's progressive promises

New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made similar progressive promises during their campaigns
December 6, 2017

Two would-be progressive champions met on Wednesday, as New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy visited New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at Gracie Mansion. Although Murphy had a long tenure as an executive at Goldman Sachs, he ran on a platform not unlike the one outlined in de Blasio’s 2013 campaign book, “One New York, Rising Together.” De Blasio has had mixed success in executing some of his loftiest goals, but Murphy, who will be governing with a Democratic majority in the state Legislature, may have more success. Below are some of the similar campaign promises made by de Blasio in 2013 and Murphy in 2017.

Universal prekindergarten

Universal pre-K was an important priority for the de Blasio campaign, and a promise that was achieved in September 2014. A focus of the mayor’s second term will be expanding preschool education to all 3-year-olds in the city.

On his campaign website, Murphy also lists expanding free pre-K to all New Jersey families as a goal. However, at a town hall meeting in September, Murphy suggested that he may have to prioritize certain programs based on how the New Jersey economy performs during his tenure.

RELATED: 5 things to know about New York City's 3-K For All program

Millionaires tax

De Blasio has proposed a tax on New York City’s highest earners as a way to earn revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He initially suggested a millionaires tax as part of his campaign in 2013 to fund universal pre-K. This idea was opposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who provided funding for the city’s universal pre-K program in the state budget.

Murphy has suggested instituting a millionaires tax in New Jersey, which has broad support in the Democratic-held state Legislature. Outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, vetoed the tax increase five times.

Immigrant rights

De Blasio listed providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants as a priority in his 2013 campaign. That promise didn’t materialize, although he did launch IDNYC, a municipal ID program that many undocumented immigrants signed up for.

Murphy has also called for “providing driver’s licenses and statewide ID to undocumented residents.” He also supports expanding financial aid for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

RELATED: Critics say NYC's progressive mayor isn't doing enough

Minimum wage

De Blasio advocated for local control over the minimum wage during the 2013 campaign, so that the downstate minimum wage would not be the same as other areas of the state. In 2016, the mayor raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour for city workers by 2018, and a state law passed last year that will raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 per hour by 2021.

Murphy has made raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of his economic platform as part of his promise to “grow and protect” New Jersey’s middle class.

Marijuana policy

De Blasio made decriminalizing marijuana usage a priority for his campaign, although arrests for possession have only decreased slightly despite City Hall’s push to have summonses issued for possession of small amounts.

Murphy has called for the legalization of marijuana, so that police can “focus resources on violent crimes” instead. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has expressed support for Murphy’s goal of making recreational marijuana available to residents 21 and older.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy met at City Hall. An updated schedule showed they met at Gracie Mansion. In addition, an earlier version of this story said arrests for marijuana posession have risen; in fact, they have slightly declined.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.