Executive Order No. 188 (2020) -

Executive Order No. 188 (2020)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 188 (2020)

An Order Directing State Agencies to Implement Youth Bias Task Force Report Recommendations

Issued: October 13, 2020.

Effective: October 13, 2020.

WHEREAS, New Jersey is one of the most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse states in the nation, and this diversity is one of our State's greatest strengths; and

WHEREAS, discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry have no place in New Jersey or anywhere else in the nation; and

WHEREAS, in addition to enforcing existing anti-discrimination laws and regulations, such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, our Administration is committed to using all resources and tools available to end hate and intolerance in all their forms, especially among New Jersey's students and young adults; to root out systemic racism and bias; and to foster learning environments where all students are welcome; and

WHEREAS, bias incidents, or suspected or confirmed crimes that are committed based on the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity, jeopardize our pursuit of freedom and opportunity, attack the identity and heritage of our citizens, shake the foundations of our cultural and religious institutions, and strike at our efforts to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, our institutions and systems play a role in teaching and perpetuating interpersonal bias, and it is impossible to address interpersonal bias without addressing systemic bias, particularly systemic racism; and

WHEREAS, the 2017-2018 Bias Incident Report issued by the Department of Law & Public Safety in August 2019, drawing on data submitted to the New Jersey Uniform Crime Reporting System by every New Jersey law enforcement agency, identified 569 reported bias incidents in New Jersey in 2018, the highest annual total since 2011; and

WHEREAS, the 2017-2018 Bias Incident Report noted that an alarming number of reported bias incidents occurred at schools, and/or involved offenders and/or victims who were minors; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Law & Public Safety's Bias Incident Report for 2019 identifies 994 reported bias incidents, a 75% increase from 2018 -- the highest annual number of bias incidents in the State and the largest year-over-year increase since New Jersey began reporting bias incident data in 1994; and

WHEREAS, the reported bias incidents from 2019 include the deadly December 10th attacks at the JC Kosher Supermarket and the Bayview Cemetery in Jersey City, in which two shooters fueled by hate, tragically killed four of our fellow New Jerseyans; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, almost 25% of reported bias incidents occurred in elementary and secondary schools; and

WHEREAS, young people continue to make up a disproportionate share of offenders and victims in reported bias incidents; and

WHEREAS, addressing the rise in reported bias incidents among students and young adults in New Jersey requires cooperation across government agencies to understand the root causes of bias incidents and determine the best path forward; and

WHEREAS, in response to the findings in the 2017-2018 Bias Incident Report, Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver issued Executive Order No. 78 (2019), which created an Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias ("Interagency Task Force") to provide advice and recommendations to the Governor's Office, the Attorney General, and other Executive Branch departments and agencies on strategies and actions to reduce incidents of hate, bias, and intolerance involving students and young adults; and

WHEREAS, the Interagency Task Force has now issued the required report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and Attorney General; and

WHEREAS, the Interagency Task Force's report includes 27 recommendations for how New Jersey can better address the rate of bias incidents, particularly among young people, through education, enforcement, and public engagement; and

WHEREAS, although certain recommendations of the Interagency Task Force would require action by the Legislature, by school districts, or by postsecondary institutions, other recommendations can be implemented through action by Executive Branch departments and agencies, as described in the Interagency Task Force report's "Implementation Plan"; and

WHEREAS, the Interagency Task Force's recommendations are consistent with the policy of the State of New Jersey to combat discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry, and to reduce the rate of bias incidents in the State;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The Attorney General; the Department of Law & Public Safety's Division on Civil Rights, Division of Criminal Justice, Division of State Police, and Juvenile Justice Commission; the Department of Children & Families; the Department of Education; the Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness; and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, shall take necessary and appropriate steps to implement those recommendations contained in the report of the Interagency Task Force that these Executive Branch departments and agencies currently have legal authority to implement.

2. No later than December 31, 2021, each of the Executive Branch departments and agencies identified in Paragraph 1 shall report to the Office of the Governor on the progress of their implementation of the Interagency Task Force's recommendations.

3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to direct the exercise of enforcement discretion by the Attorney General, the Division on Civil Rights, the Division of Criminal Justice, or the New Jersey State Police.

4. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to supersede any federal, State, or local law.

5. This order shall take effect immediately.

(Published October 19, 2015 in the New Jersey Register at 47 N.J.R. 2693(a). Published October 13, 2020 in the New Jersey Register at 52 N.J.R. 2030(a).)

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