Governor Phil Murphy

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This Week In New Jersey: August 14, 2020


Murphy Administration Announces $155 Million In Additional Funding To Ensure Health, Safety, And Quality In Long-Term Care Facilities

Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, and Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced the Administration’s proposal to provide long-term care facilities with $155 million in additional funding as they look to reopen to visitors and resume normal operations. The funding—which will be a mix of state and federal monies—will allow for the implementation of a new DOH directive for the safe reopening of long-term care facilities for indoor visitation by appointment and other activities if the facilities have no COVID-19 cases among residents or staff. Before reopening, facilities must meet certain public health benchmarks including adequate infection control, staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure preparedness.

“Throughout this pandemic, one of the most-impacted communities in our state has been the residents and staff of our long-term care facilities,” said Governor Murphy. “Today’s announcement will allow facilities to meet the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also ensuring both high-quality care and the health and safety of residents and staff going forward. And, most importantly, it will allow for residents to safely reunite with loved ones.”


Murphy Administration To Open New Jersey's Schools For In-Person Instruction Subject To Critical Health And Safety Protocols

Governor Phil Murphy and Department of Education Interim Commissioner Kevin Dehmer announced that New Jersey’s public and private school districts will be open for in-person instruction for the start of the school year. Public school districts can begin the school year via remote-only instruction if they cannot adequately meet critical health and safety protocols outlined in the state’s school reopening guidance, “The Road Back,” which was released in late June. Districts who need to delay the implementation of in-person instruction will be required to submit information to the Department of Education (DOE) describing the health and safety standards that they are currently unable to adequately meet, how they will address outstanding issues in a timely fashion, and a proposed timeline for reopening physical school spaces to students and staff for in-person instruction.  

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and educators, and we must ensure that schools reopen their doors only when it is safe for them to do so,” said Governor Murphy. “Since releasing our guidance on reopening, we have continued to have frequent discussions with stakeholders and educators across the state. Many districts have expressed that meeting critical health and safety criteria by the first day of school is proving to be a challenge. While we continue to believe that there is no substitute for being in the classroom, allowing districts to delay the implementation of in-person instruction will give them the time and flexibility they need to ensure buildings are ready and welcoming when they do open.”


Murphy Administration Announces $150 Million In Coronavirus Relief Funds To Be Awarded To New Jersey Colleges And Universities

Governor Phil Murphy and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) today announced that the Administration will award $150 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities to help offset costs incurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The application is available for eligible institutions to receive federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the state which can be used for costs such as those related to cleaning and disinfecting supplies, the transition to online learning, and support for testing, among other eligible costs.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countless communities throughout the state, and the higher education community is no exception,” said Governor Murphy. "Today's announcement will provide necessary funds to assist our students and institutions as they manage economic hardships for the upcoming school year. I thank our Congressional delegation for their unwavering commitment to secure these funds, and will continue to fight alongside them for further assistance in order to alleviate the challenges of this ongoing crisis.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Strengthening NJTransit's Access Link Paratransit Services

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S362 and A2456) to further strengthen NJ TRANSIT’s paratransit services for individuals with disabilities. 

“We know that Access Link serves as a critical transportation resource for New Jerseyans with disabilities, who deserve reliable, efficient transit services,” said Governor Murphy. “These improvements will further strengthen our public transportation network to ensure New Jersey’s Access Link riders have a more equitable experience.” 

S362 would require NJ TRANSIT’s Access Link services to operate during state of emergency if it is determined it can be done can be done safely. 

A2456 would require a person eligible for Access Link service to be issued an ID card for reduced fares at the same time that NJ TRANSIT determines Access Link service eligibility. Currently, customers who have been certified as needing to use Access Link paratransit service must apply separately if they want to use regular NJ TRANSIT services at the discounted rate for those with disabilities. Under the bill, if an individual is determined to be eligible for Access Link prior to the effective date, they would be issued an ID card within 60 days after the bill's effective date or immediately upon the eligible person's request. 


Governor Murphy Announces The First Phase Of The Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program

Governor Murphy announced the first phase of the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program, designed to ensure that the State’s small businesses and non-profits have access to the fairly priced personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to facilitate safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phase was approved by the NJEDA’s Board today, advancing this initial step of a $15 million initiative to address ongoing demand for PPE.

In May 2020, Governor Murphy established the Restart and Recovery Commission and Restart and Recovery Council to guide New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Commission and the Council highlighted the need for readily available, reasonably priced, and equitably distributed PPE to accelerate a safe and robust economic recovery. The NJEDA also received input on the PPE Access Program from the Senate Fiscal Strategists Committee.

“Business owners and company leaders have enough on their plates as they navigate operating with new protocols in place to safeguard the health of their customers and staff,” said Governor Murphy. “We are taking this step to make finding and securing PPE and other safeguarding supplies easier for business owners, so they can focus on rebuilding their businesses and ensuring their future success.”