It's official: Gov. Phil Murphy signs legislation to establish Central Jersey as a region

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Thursday, August 24, 2023
It's official: Murphy signs legislation to establish Central Jersey
Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation on Thursday to officially establish Central Jersey as a region in the Garden State. Crystal Cranmore has the latest.

CENTRAL JERSEY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Many in New Jersey have long debated where exactly is the region commonly referred to as Central Jersey -- and now Gov. Phil Murphy hopes to put that to rest.

Murphy signed legislation on Thursday officially marking the region.

That means the Garden State will redraw its tourism map to include and promote Central Jersey and all it has to offer, including its wineries, scenic natural parks and more.

From now on, North Jersey ends south at the Raritan River. Central Jersey will be made up of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties.

"Today, we settle the decades-old debate once and for all: Central Jersey exists," said Governor Murphy. "The region has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution, with a legacy graced by historical figures like George Washington. And today, Central Jersey is home to some of the nation's leading public universities and host to beautiful agricultural landscapes and activities for tourists to immerse themselves in. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share these wonders with the world."

Officials say the change will revitalize the tourism industry in Central Jersey, which is down by about 20% from pre-pandemic levels.

The bill will take effect 90 days after enactment. The prime sponsors for the bill are Senator Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman.

"After 235 years since the founding of our great state, Central Jersey is finally on the map," Zwicker said. "While the very existence of the middle of our state has long been the subject of debate, we are long overdue in designating Central Jersey as the hub of tourism, innovation, and history that it is. This law will promote travel to our quaint river towns and canal villages, scenic walking sites, harvest festivals, breweries, and more Revolutionary War sites than you'll find anywhere else. Central Jersey offers some of the best experiences to those traveling and vacationing in New Jersey. From this day forward, Central Jersey exists, and you should come visit."

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