Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, Governor Lamont, Governor Wolf, Governor Carney, Governor Raimondo, and Governor Baker Announce Multi-State Council to Get People Back to Work and Restore the Economy
Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states’ ongoing regional approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coordinating group – comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state -- will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.
The council will create this framework using every tool available to accomplish the goal of easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread - including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing – and will rely on the best available scientific, statistical, social and economic information to manage and evaluate those tools.
Governor Phil Murphy said, “No one has given more thought or is more eager to restart our economy than I am, but if we don’t get the sequencing right, we put more lives at risk. The only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery. Then, and only then, do we position ourselves to fully ignite our economy and get the residents of our state back to work while minimizing the danger of this disease. A coordinated, regional approach, informed by a multi-state council of experts, will help us avoid a major setback with potentially disastrous consequences. I look forward to the day when the facts on the ground allow us to ease our restrictions and move our regional economy forward."
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Implement Additional Mitigation Requirements on NJ TRANSIT, Private Carriers, and Restaurants to Limit the Spread of COVID-19
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 125, imposing additional mitigation requirements on NJ TRANSIT and all private carriers to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order also outlines specific policies on restaurants that have remained open for takeout orders.
“We must continue our commitment to do everything we can to flatten the curve and defeat this virus,” said Governor Murphy. “With these additional requirements, we are aggressively reducing the spread of the virus to protect New Jersey residents.”
“We are grateful Governor Murphy is adding extra authority and enforcement to the personal protective equipment policies NJ TRANSIT has implemented in recent weeks for the protection of our employees and customers,” said NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett. “Our bus, train, light rail and Access Link paratransit service is vital to ensuring essential personnel can continue to get to their jobs and back home again, and Governor Murphy’s executive order strengthens the tools we have to do this as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Extending Tax Filing Deadline
Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill extending New Jersey’s income and corporate tax filing deadline to July 15.
“As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we give both the state and our residents every opportunity to endure financially,” said Governor Murphy. “Pushing this deadline into the summer will give us additional time to combat the virus and get as many taxpayers as possible back on sound financial footing.”
The Covid-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act, (A-3918) extends the deadline for both Gross Income Tax and Corporation Business Tax filings, aligning New Jersey with the new federal deadline announced late last month. Additionally, the bill extends State Fiscal Year 2020 to September 30, 2020. The bill also extends the deadline for the quarterly payment due this week to July 15. The second quarter payment will still be due on June 15.
In addition to extending the filing deadline, the law requires the State Treasurer to report by May 22, 2020 on the financial condition of the budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 and requires that by August 25, the Governor will submit a revised budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021.
The law was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Paul Sarlo, Steven Oroho, and Anthony M. Bucco, and in the Assembly by Assemblymembers Eliana Pintor Marin, Harold Wirths, and John Burzichelli.
Labor Department Implements Customer-Service, Tech Improvements to Address Historic Increase in Unemployment Claims
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has made a series of moves – from upgrading computer technology to adding personnel and boosting phone capacity – to get unemployment claims processed faster and customers’ questions answered quicker.
The announcement comes as record numbers of unemployment claims continue to flood the New Jersey Labor Department, and labor departments across the country.
“I feel it in the pit of my stomach for every worker’s claim we haven’t gotten to yet,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We are paying benefits to nearly 300,000 New Jerseyans, but that is of little consequence if your claim isn’t one of them. Our entire staff empathizes with your frustration and uncertainty. That’s why we have been working around the clock to find solutions to common problems weighing on the system.”
Governor Murphy Announces Suspension of Rent Increases at all NJHMFA-Regulated Properties
Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has unanimously voted to suspend rent increases at all eligible properties within the Agency’s portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state.
“Many New Jerseyans are now facing the difficult financial realities of unemployment and a loss of income due to COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “With this action, thousands of low- and moderate-income families, who have been among the most-economically impacted during this crisis, will not have to fear a rent increase.”
The suspension of rent increases will remain in place until the termination of Executive Order 103. Thereafter, eligible properties in the Agency’s portfolio seeking rent increases of up to 1.4% may do so only after 30-day notice is provided to NJHMFA and residents. Any request in excess of this amount must first be reviewed and approved by NJHMFA staff.