Phil Gregory

Statehouse Reporter

Phil has been the Statehouse Reporter in Trenton for both WBGO and WHYY in Philadelphia since 2009.

He’s a long-time reporter in the tri-state area. For 10 years he worked at Bloomberg Radio in New York City where he anchored coverage of several major events including the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 blackout. He also covered business and market news as a reporter from the New York Stock Exchange.

Phil is a native of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and started his broadcast career at WAEB in Allentown, PA where he advanced to become News Director. He was an award-winning reporter and anchor at radio stations WPTR, WFLY and WROW in Albany, NY and at WOBM in Toms River, NJ. Phil is a past President of the Empire State Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been a broadcast instructor at the New School of Contemporary Radio in Albany and at Monmouth University.

Outside of work he enjoys visiting historical, nature and entertainment sites.

Ways to Connect

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it easier to register to vote.

Senator Joe Vitale says his bill would automatically put residents on voter registration rolls when they apply for or renew their driver's license.

He says that would eliminate the need to fill out a form to register with the local Board of Elections.

This month’s string of  four nor’easters have taken a bite out of some New Jersey beaches.

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection says 55 of the 66 beaches it surveyed had minor erosion while 10 had moderate erosion.

Jon Miller is a professor of coastal engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He says the storms pulled a lot of sand off the beach and into the ocean.

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would require inmates be offered an injection of a drug used to treat opioid addiction before they’re released from prison.

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway says a single dose of Vivitrol can block the effects of heroin for a month and could help prevent deadly overdoses.

He says people who are incarcerated often have drug addictions that haven’t been treated before they’re released.

New Jersey lawmakers are looking at legislation to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora says his bill would allow an additional 12 medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey.

“Currently the state allows six. Only five are open. Many patients say they don’t have ready access to the dispensaries. It would also be a way of creating competition and lowering the cost of the product itself.”

More forms of the drug including edibles and oils would be allowed at the dispensaries.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the state is preparing for what could be a major storm.

Murphy says gusty winds could bring down power lines, and utility companies in the state have activated their mutual aid arrangements.

“Their ability to bring in linemen and women from other utilities and other workers to bolster from other states. I think JCP&L has said that they have activated 800 people to come in and god knows we certainly hope that is sufficient.”

The Governor says the state has enough personnel and equipment to clear snow from the roads.

Governor Phil Murphy is breaking down the $242 million increase he's proposed in his budget plan for upgrading New Jersey Transit.

New Jersey Transit executive director Kevin Corbett says the governor's proposal allocates $19 million to expand the workforce with 114 new employees.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says a planned research and innovation center in New Brunswick could be a place for high-growth startup companies to thrive and boost the state’s economy.

New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill says a city-owned site in the downtown area is earmarked for the project.

“As a center for innovation for health care, biosciences, technology, artificial intelligence, big data, and analytics this offers the state of New Jersey an unparalleled opportunity for development.”

A bill advancing in the New Jersey legislature would ensure that union representatives have greater access to the public employees they represent.

What's called the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act would allow unions to hold meetings during lunch and other breaks during the workday to look into issues and grievances.

Eric Richard with the state AFL-CIO says it would also mean that union representatives could meet with newly-hired employees without docking their pay.

New Jersey Assembly's Labor Committee will take up a bill Monday that would require employers to provide equal pay to all workers for substantially similar work.        

Elaine Zundl with the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University says a gender pay gap follows women throughout their lives.

New Jersey's Attorney General is backing legislation to overhaul the state's decentralized medical examiner system.

The legislation transfers oversight of the medical examiner system from the Attorney General's office and creates an independent Office of Chief State Medical Examiner within the New Jersey Health Department.

Senate Health Committee chairman Joe Vitale says the key factor of the transfer is that it will ensure the independence the person in that new position.

A tax credit program to encourage the movie, TV, and digital media industry to produce their shows in New Jersey could be restored and expanded.

Former Governor Chris Christie was skeptical about the program's economic benefits when he suspended it in 2010 and it expired in 2015.

Lawmakers are considering a replacement measure that would provide tax credits of $75 million a year for film productions and $10 million for digital media content.

Used car dealers would have to tell a potential buyer about any safety recall that a previous owner ignored if a bill advancing in New Jersey's legislature becomes law.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty says his bill would require dealers to gather information from the car manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check for any recalls

and notify a potential purchaser before a sale is finalized.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is out with its annual rankings of the health of New Jersey Counties.

Based on an analysis of more than 30 factors including housing, education, and jobs, the foundation rates Morris as the state’s healthiest county and Cumberland as the least healthy.

This year’s report puts new emphasis on the impact of race.

Toni Lewis is the foundation’s community coach. She says African-Americans have worse health outcomes than the lowest-ranked county.

New jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget plan is a major departure from the eight years of proposals made by his predecessor.

Democrat Murphy is calling for a millionaires’ tax, something Republican Chris Christie repeatedly rejected.

“The irrefutable fact is that we have a thousand more millionaires today than we did at our pre-recession peak, and I’m sure none of them are here for the low taxes. They are here because we can offer an unmatched quality of life.”

New Jersey lawmakers are making another effort to get legislation enacted that would require all public schools be equipped with a panic alarm that would be directly linked to law enforcement authorities.

The silent alarm would be activated during a shooting or other school emergency.  Former Governor Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation three times in the past five years.

Now that the state has a new governor, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is hoping the outcome will be different.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will unveil his first state budget plan in a speech to a joint session of the legislature tomorrow.

Republican lawmakers are urging Murphy to reverse his campaign promise and not propose a tax surcharge on millionaires.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean says increasing taxes would send a bad message to individuals and corporations.

“Any changes that Governor Murphy makes should focus on property tax relief. Any new investments or extra revenues should focus on property tax relief.”

Governor Murphy’s nominee to be New Jersey’s Health Commissioner spend most of his confirmation hearing answering questions about the state’s marijuana policies.

 

Shereef Elnahal told lamakers than when a 60-day review ordered by the governor is completed, suggestions will be made to improve the state’s medical marijuana program. 

 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is directing the Board of Public Utilities to investigate the power companies’ response to the recent winter storms that knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers.

“We’re going to examine what went wrong and whether the improvements to protect and strengthen our grid devised post Sandy have been implemented.  We will look to see if all preparedness measures were taken before last Friday knowing a major event was coming. My gut tells me they were not, and if they’ve not been, that is entirely inexcusable.”

If New Jersey legalizes recreational marijuana, a state lawmaker wants to have a measure providing new opportunities for some residents and communities ready to go.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano says if the state allows possession and use of marijuana, it should clear the records of all those previously convicted of marijuana possession.

The New Jersey legislature is looking at establishing a Main Street Economic Growth Program.

Assemblyman Dan Benson says his bill is intended to encourage business development in small towns.

A week before New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposes his first state budget, the leader of the state Senate has unveiled a plan to raise taxes to provide more money for education.

Senate President Steve Sweeney wants to impose a tax surcharge on corporations that make more than a million dollars in profits in New Jersey.

He says that would raise about $657 million and be just a portion of the money those companies will save from changes in the federal tax code.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has declared a state of emergency because of an approaching storm that could bring heavy, wet snow and the potential for damaging winds.

Murphy says the Department of Transportation has 2500 pieces of snow fighting equipment at its disposal to make major highways passable.

“Whether it’s plows spreaders and loaders which can be deployed across the state. The Department has about 207,000 tons of salt available which is 78 percent of its capacity and it’s also at 82 percent of its capacity for liquid calcium.”

A bipartisan group of New Jersey Senators is drafting legislation to counter some of the negative consequences of federal tax code changes.

Senator Tony Bucco says the measure would allow small businesses registered as

S corporations, LLC’s, and other partnerships to pay their state taxes as a corporate entity so their owners and partners could deduct the full amount of the tax on their federal returns.

New Jersey could become the first state to require a warning sticker on opioid prescription bottles.

Assemblyman John Armato says his bill would require a red sticker on the cap of a prescription bottle warning that the medication is an opioid and could cause addiction and overdose.

“One of the reasons is that there’s so many different pain medications out there. I have had people come to me and say thank god my son is not on an opiate. So what is he taking?  He’s taking Percocet. Well that is an opiate. “

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season may have peaked, it’s still making a lot of people sick in New Jersey.

State epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says there are high levels of flu illness throughout New Jersey, but there are some positive signs.

“We are starting to see that some of our areas that we’re measuring are starting to decrease such as emergency department admissions and emergency department visits that are associated with influenza-like illness.”

Dr. Tan says influenza type B cases are increasing in the state.

Get ready for a variety of potential weather woes from a storm arriving soon.

New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson says the nor’easter could dump one to three inches of rain and cause problems in flood-prone areas.

“We just had the third wettest February on record, records going back to 1895. So, the ground is saturated. The rivers are running high. There’s just not a lot of room to put water into those rivers before they would leave their channels and flow into the flood plains surrounding them.”   

A package of bills advancing in the New Jersey legislature would make the state’s tough gun laws even tougher.

The measures include background checks for private gun sales, a 10-round limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines, and a mandate for law enforcement to seize a person’s guns if a mental health professional determines they’re a threat to themselves or others.

Assembly Judiciary Committee chairwoman Annette Quijano says the deadly school shooting in Florida was the latest unfortunate result of a failed national gun and mental health policy.

Governor Phil Murphy says New Jersey is getting lapped by other states in job creation.

 

He’s signed an executive order aimed at stimulating job growth.

 

The order establishes the Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council in the Governor’s office.

 

“I’m directing the council to analyze state and national economic trends and data to design the policies needed to attract, expand, and retain good jobs.”

Health care groups are seeking a New Jersey law requiring all employers in the state to provide earned sick days for their workers.

Beth Cohen is an emergency room nurse at Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly. She says some people who don't have paid sick leave aren't getting treated for the flu.

"They come in so sick. It's not even just the flu or pneumonia. They're septic from letting it go so long. And then we're sending so many people to intensive care, many hospitals not just ours, because of that." 

Some New Jersey lawmakers are introducing legislation to restore voting rights to people with criminal convictions.

Senator Ron Rice says his bill would end the practice of taking the right to vote from residents on parole, probation, or in prison.

"There is no relationship between voting and committing crimes. To disenfranchise those who have made mistakes and are paying for them is wrong. "

Senator Sandra Cunningham says African-Americans are disproportionately denied the right to vote because of a criminal conviction.

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