As NJ health emergency ends, some of Murphy’s powers extend through January 1
UPDATE Thursday, May 20: Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin postponed the planned vote “to fine tune it to be the fairest and most responsible bill possible”.
TRENTON – A bill ending many of the executive orders Governor Phil Murphy issued during this summer’s public health emergency, while keeping some of the major ones in effect until the end of December, is expected to be approved by the Plenary Assembly on Thursday.
The Senate could pass the bill on June 3, although its timing is not exactly clear on Wednesday.
Murphy and legislative leaders reached an agreement last week that Murphy will not again extend the COVID-19 public health emergency, which he first declared in March 2020, by an additional 30 days when it expires on June 13. However, some powers conferred by the emergency will remain in effect.
The bill, A-5777, keeps 14 pandemic-era executive orders active through January 1, unless Murphy revokes them earlier, and the others expire 30 days after the bill is signed. law.
It also says the most recent rules around masking, social distancing and limits on the size of collections can only become less restrictive, unless there is an increase in hospitalizations or the one-time positivity rate. for COVID-19 testing or the transmission rate – currently 0.5 – returns plus 1.
MP Brian Bergen, R-Morris, said the bill does not do much, despite expectations that it will end Murphy’s executive power. Among the orders that remain in effect are those extending a moratorium on evictions and seizures and extending general COVID-19 mitigation measures.
“It amazes me. It gives the governor whatever he wants. Does not give more authority to the Legislative Assembly than before. And keeps in place a lot of the things that cripple our economy, ”Bergen said.
“It gives the governor essentially all the powers to have a health emergency without having a health emergency,” he said.
Assembly member Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, said it was impossible to know the future course of the virus and promptly removing all orders immediately would be misguided.
“This bill threads the needle, removing the things that can be removed while preserving the authorities that may very well be needed in the future,” Conaway said.
MP Eliana Pintor Marin, D-Essex, said COVID numbers are moving in the right direction and a good summer is coming – but the state must remain safe from a virus rebound and questions on the duration of effectiveness of the vaccines.
“I don’t think this is the right time for us to say COVID is completely over. I think there are still a lot of things that are unknown, ”said Pintor Marin.
MP Serena DiMaso, R-Monmouth, said the bill must provide access to health data, prevent decisions such as the closure of Motor Vehicle Commission branches and limit social distancing and masks in workplaces and youth camps.
“I think these things need to be changed. It doesn’t change much, ”said DiMaso.
MP John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, admitted that “there is a great demand from our citizens to have this over” and that Murphy’s pace of reopening is criticized in many quarters.
“This legislation formalizes a voice that we hear that we want certain actions to be taken,” said Burzichelli. “So, is that all everyone would like to have?” This is probably not the case.
The following decrees could remain in force until the end of December:
- Decree 106: Moratorium on the referrals of individuals due to evictions or seizures
- Executive Decree 111: Order healthcare facilities to report daily data, including PPE inventory and bed capacity
- Executive Order 112: Remove Barriers That Prevent Healthcare Professionals Joining New Jersey’s COVID-19 Response and Provide Protections to Frontline Healthcare Workers
- Executive Decree 123: Extension of grace periods for insurance premiums
- Executive Decree 127: Extension of certain deadlines associated with the development of rules
- Executive Decree 150: Outdoor Dining Protocols and Premises Expansion Process for Liquor License Holders
- Executive Decree 159: Extension of certain statutory deadlines within the state government
- Executive Decree 170: Extension of certain statutory deadlines within the state government
- Executive Decree 178: Extension of certain statutory deadlines within the state government
- Executive Order 192: Protecting the New Jersey Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Executive Order 207: Enrolling Residents Who Choose to Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine in the New Jersey Immunization Information System
- Executive Decree 229: extension of the moratorium on the closure of public services until June 30, 2021
- Executive Order 233: Provides that all stimulus payments issued to New Jersey people under US bailout law to be exempt from garnishment by private creditors and collection agents and will not be subject to garnishment.
- Executive Decree 237: Allow summer youths night and day camps for the 2021 season
Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].
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