Ask Governor Murphy: Episode 1

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in WBGO's studios for the first episode of 'Ask Governor Murphy'

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in WBGO's studios for the first episode of 'Ask Governor Murphy' (Isaiah McClain/WBGO)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy took calls Thursday night on a new public radio program produced by WHYY, WBGO-Newark, and WNYC-New York.

Among the numerous topics covered, Murphy was asked what he learned from the four nor’easters that hit the region this month.

He said he’s going to push to bury more power lines underground so they can’t be torn down by falling trees.

“You know we’re going to challenge that myth, that it’s too expensive to put these wires underground. I’ve got anecdotal evidence that the technology has come a long way, that it’s not as expensive as it used to be. And I’m sick of seeing the same movie, as I know many folks out there are who are perennially losing their power. We’re going to look at everything, including that,” he said.

Murphy was highly critical of how long it took Jersey Central Power and Light to restore power to all its customers after a recent storm. New Jersey utilities did a better job after the most recent winter storm.

A caller asked if he would be willing to take heat for working with President Trump the way former Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama did following Superstorm Sandy.

Murphy told the caller he would — to a point.

“What I won’t do is, I won’t sell my soul. I won’t lose my principles about things I feel strongly about in order to get something accomplished. So for instance, teachers, in my humble opinion, the notion of teachers having guns makes zero sense to me. I’m not going to be shy about that,” he said.

One of the last callers was a fifth grader, who asked what he could do about school safety in light of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. Murphy said he would be at the “March for our Lives” event Saturday in Newark.

“And unlike the last governor, who vetoed a bunch of gun-safety laws,” he continued, “I’ll sign them.”

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