Governor Murphy Announces Additional $15 Million in CARES Act Funding to Recovery of Small Businesses
Governor Phil Murphy announced that an additional $15 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding has been made available to New Jersey small businesses struggling with the pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $100 million the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is currently administering through programs to COVID-19-impacted businesses.
“COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, but also a severe economic crisis, and nowhere is that more evident than in the State’s small business community,” said Governor Murphy. “Throughout this crisis, small business owners have worked incredibly hard to adapt and protect public health while supporting their employees and families. We are committed to ensuring New Jersey’s vibrant small business community weathers this storm and emerges stronger. The additional funding announced today will support businesses as they continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ we are living with now and lay the groundwork for a speedy and complete recovery.”
The $15 million in CARES Act funds announced today will bolster the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grant funding for small businesses struggling with COVID-19-related challenges. Launched in early April with $10 million of NJEDA funds, the Program initially offered grants of up to $5,000 to a narrowly-targeted set of small businesses that included restaurants and in-person retail establishments.
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Restore a Key Provision of the Affordable Care Act and Lower the Cost of Health Care in New Jersey
Acting on a commitment to restore the Affordable Care Act in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will increase affordability and expand access to health care by creating state-level subsidies to lower the cost of health insurance for residents purchasing coverage on the Marketplace this fall. The measure was originally included in the Governor’s initial FY2021 state budget.
“As the federal government continues to attack critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act, our Administration remains committed to lowering the cost of coverage, expanding access to care, and improving health equity for our most vulnerable,” said Governor Murphy. “This action could not come at a more critical juncture, and will directly benefit our uninsured and underinsured populations at a time when many New Jerseyans have lost health coverage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The legislation (S2676/A4389) establishes the New Jersey Health Insurer Assessment (HIA), which is a continuation of a federal assessment on health insurance companies that will sunset at the end of the year. All of the revenue generated will be used to support residents and families purchasing policies on the individual market. It will allow the state to provide state-level subsidies, in addition to federal subsidies that are available, for the majority of consumers purchasing insurance on the State-Based Marketplace when the ACA Open Enrollment Period begins on Nov. 1.
Updated Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey from District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico, Bringing New Total to 36 States and Territories
Governor Murphy advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from additional states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. In addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the updated advisory includes 3 additional states – Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota, bringing the total to 36 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
As of Tuesday, July 28, there are currently 36 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alaska; Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Delaware; District of Columbia, Florida; Georgia; Illinois, Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky, Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota, Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico, South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; and Wisconsin.
“New Jersey’s restart and recovery process relies on our collective effort and commitment to beating COVID-19 and driving down rates of transmission across our state,” said Governor Murphy. “Individuals traveling from these states must remain vigilant in their actions and proactively get a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine to prevent additional outbreaks from spreading throughout New Jersey.”
Federal District Court Upholds Immigrant Trust Directive
U.S. Chief District Judge Freda L. Wolfson dismissed a lawsuit challenging Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal's Immigrant Trust Directive.
In a statement, Attorney General Grewal said:
"The court recognized what we have said all along: New Jersey has the authority to draw a clear, bright line between the work of state law enforcement officers and federal civil immigration officers. This line is more important than ever, as we work hard every day to build and restore trust between New Jersey’s police officers and historically marginalized communities.
In November 2018, I issued the Immigrant Trust Directive in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, flanked by our state’s law enforcement leaders. What I said then remains true today: you can be both pro-immigrant and pro-law enforcement. And, indeed, our Directive is pro-law enforcement precisely because it is pro-immigrant. Today’s decision reaffirms that principle."
New Jersey Department of Health Invests $32.3 Million in Local Public Health Efforts
The New Jersey Department of Health announced $32.3 million in federal funding will be awarded to county and local health departments to support COVID-19 response initiatives.
“Throughout this pandemic, local health departments have been working around the clock to prepare, respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state,” said Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. “These funds will provide health departments with more resources to identify, track and address local outbreaks quickly."
Health departments in each of the 21 counties and the city of Newark, which are responsible for preparedness coordination in their jurisdictions will be allocated $13.7 million of the federal funding received by the New Jersey Department of Health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These 22 health departments are known as Local Information and Network Communication System (LINCS) agencies. This funding will allow these agencies to hire additional employees to coordinate testing, contact tracing and isolation and quarantine activities in their communities.