Governor Phil Murphy

This Week In New Jersey: May 15th, 2020


Governor Murphy Announces Expanded Testing Capacity and Robust Contact Tracing Plan for New Jersey

As outlined in his vision, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” Governor Phil Murphy announced a comprehensive strategy to expand testing capacity and implement a robust contact tracing program for New Jersey.

“Implementing an expanded testing regime and robust contact tracing strategy are the underpinnings of putting New Jersey on the road back to recovery,” said Governor Murphy. “Public health creates economic health and today’s plan will give our residents and business owners confidence that the state is prepared to move forward strategically and responsibly.”


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Permitting Resumption of Non-Essential Construction, Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail Businesses and Gathering in Cars

As part of New Jersey’s Road Back, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 142, permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately.

“I’ve been clear that data will determine dates, and what we are seeing gives us confidence that we can begin the careful restart of our economy,” said Governor Murphy. “Over the past eight weeks, New Jerseyans have taken our stay-at-home order seriously and have created the conditions that make this next phase possible. The steps we are taking allow for important standards of social distancing to continue with the return of safe, responsible business operations.” 


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Allowing Beaches, Boardwalks, Lakes, and Lakeshores to Remain Open with Social Distancing Measures in Place

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 143, allowing beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores to remain open with social distancing measures in place. The Order takes effect on Friday, May 22.

“I’m thrilled to announce that the Jersey Shore will be open to families across our state and region in a way that is consistent with protecting the public health of every beachgoer,” said Governor Murphy. “This action will ensure that New Jerseyans can enjoy our state’s greatest natural resource ahead of the summer months.”

“Today’s announcement is a shot in the arm for our shore communities and will allow our beaches to open for Memorial Day with important public safety provisions in place,” said Cape May County Freeholder and Mayor of Sea Isle City, Leonard Desiderio. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is steadily moving forward through this unprecedented crisis.”


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Protect Public Health by Mailing Every Registered Voter a VBM Ballot or Application Ahead of the Primary Election

In an effort to protect all New Jersey voters from the spread of COVID-19, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to create a modified vote-by-mail election for the July 7th Primary. The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered Democratic and Republican voters and send VBM ballot applications to unaffiliated and inactive voters. All VBM ballots and VBM ballot applications will come with pre-paid postage. 

“No one should have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote,” said Governor Murphy. “By providing vote-by-mail ballots and applications, New Jersey voters will be able to safely participate in our democracy as the pandemic continues to threaten our public health.”  

"As a state at the center of the COVID-19 crisis, New Jersey has to modify to our primary to ensure that our voters have access to free, fair, and safe elections,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “By providing every voter access to a vote by mail ballot, we are protecting our residents and democracy. As our state embarks on the road to recovery, voters will have the opportunity to choose our leaders without risking their health." 


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Lessen Higher Education Financial Aid Issues for Students Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2356/A3946) to provide relief for students enrolled in various state higher education financial aid programs and address the unique circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“My Administration has made higher education a priority, and we must ensure that no student’s education is negatively impacted by circumstances outside of their control,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation will protect our students from unforeseen financial hardship brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”