Governor Murphy Announces "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health"
Governor Phil Murphy announced his vision, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” to restart New Jersey and put the state on the road to recovery. Governor Murphy outlined six key principles and benchmarks to guide the process for restoring New Jersey’s economic health by ensuring public health.
“Our priority is to use science, data, and facts to put New Jersey on the road to recovery. In order to restore economic health, we must first promote public health,” said Governor Murphy. “These key principles and metrics are critical for giving New Jerseyans confidence that we will re-open our state with our public health protocols firmly in place and our health care system prepared. Restarting New Jersey’s economy and returning people to work will be done methodically, strategically, and responsibly.”
Governor Murphy Names Commission to Advise on Restart and Recovery of State Economy
Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order creating a commission charged with advising the administration on the timing and preparation for New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission will be comprised of 21 members, all with a vast wealth of experience in health care, business, finance, academics, and economics and will be chaired by Princeton Professor and former University President Shirley Tilghman and Ken Frazier, Chief Executive Officer of Merck and Co., Inc.
“With this task force we are bringing together some of the sharpest minds our state and nation have to offer,” said Governor Murphy. “As I have said from the start, public health creates economic health and these individuals will help us decide when and how to restart the economy to best benefit both.”
The Commission will begin virtual meetings immediately as the administration tackles the work of restarting the state and putting New Jerseyans back to work. Among the Commission’s first tasks will be to advise the governor on the timing of the restart as it aligns with predetermined public health metrics.
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Allowing Municipalities to Extend Grace Period for May 1st Property Tax Payments Until June 1st
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 130, which allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1st to June 1st. Such an extension would provide much-needed relief to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Allowing municipalities the option of extending the grace period for May property tax payments is the right thing to do as many New Jerseyans are impacted financially as a result of this crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “Leaders of towns and cities across the state have been trying to find ways to lessen the blow on local residents, and with this action, they are empowered to provide relief to homeowners as we continue to do everything possible to fight this pandemic.”
“We understand that many property owners are coping with financial challenges they’ve never had to face before as a result of this pandemic and we are considering every option available to answer their calls for help,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Allowing municipalities to institute this grace period will afford New Jersey property owners who need it some extra time to get their finances in order so they can submit their quarterly property tax payments by June 1st.”
NJ Labor Department to Begin Making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Payments This Week
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that recipients of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to the self-employed, independent contractors and others who are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance benefits will start being notified of their PUA eligibility today, and the Department will begin making payments Friday, May 1st.
PUA is a new program authorized by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide unemployment benefits to workers not eligible for regular unemployment. In addition to people who are self-employed or independent contractors, this includes those who do not have enough recent earnings to receive regular unemployment benefits.
Workers in this group, who have applied for regular unemployment and been denied, do not have to do anything further. The Department will start reaching out today, and will start processing payments this week.
“The Department has worked hard over the past month to get this program up and running despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, and it is now available,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “While it will take time to determine eligibility for everyone who seeks PUA benefits, the process has begun to get billions of additional dollars into the wallets of eligible self-employed workers.”
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Reopening State Parks and Golf Courses
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 133, reopening state parks and golf courses, and restoring the authority of county governments to determine whether county parks will be open or closed. The order takes effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2.
“We understand that New Jerseyans want to get outside and get some fresh air as the weather warms up,” said Governor Murphy. “However, this should not serve as an open invitation to rush back to normalcy and break the necessary social distancing measures we’ve put in place. This approach will also bring New Jersey in line with our neighboring states, which will discourage residents from needlessly crossing state lines for recreation.”