Gov. Phil Murphy is headed to California this weekend to attend a National Governors Association event as the group’s chairman and meet with TV and film studio executives to try and lure more entertainment jobs to New Jersey, his office said Friday.

The governor is slated to leave Sunday afternoon and return to the state Friday.

The NGA will meet in Santa Monica on Tuesday and Wednesday. There, Murphy will join fellow Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California in, among other things, a roundtable meant to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding youth mental health.

It’s the second of four roundtables on the topic for Murphy. The first event was in October in Utah with Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

Murphy, who recently took the reins as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, also used the October trip to stump for then-Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in Nevada. Sisolak went on to lose his re-election bid the next month against his Republican challenger.

Murphy’s latest out-of-state trip will include other stops and meetings. But he won’t be campaigning for any candidates.

Instead, the governor will spend Monday in Los Angeles with film and TV studio executives, his office said, without giving any other specifics. Murphy will head to San Francisco on Wednesday night for a series of meetings with tech industry officials.

Murphy made a similar trip to California in April 2019, when he met with NBC Universal officials in Los Angeles, executives from Warner Brothers and Disney in Burbank, and then the CEOs of Paramount and Sony. The goal was to pitch New Jersey as a destination for film crews. It came about a year after Murphy signed a law to revive the state’s film tax credit program.

Last month, Netflix unveiled plans for a $903 million investment into a production facility at the former Fort Monmouth in New Jersey that will serve as a central point for the streaming the entertainment giant’s East Coast operations.

Though the deal will not be finalized until the due diligence period and local approvals process concludes, a supportive tweet from Murphy following the vote made it sound like a virtual certainty.

“Netflix is coming to town!” Murphy said on social media.

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Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @MatthewArco.


By Antoni

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