Governor Phil Murphy

This Week In New Jersey: September 04, 2020


Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Allowing The Resumption Of Indoor Dining Effective Friday, September 4

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 183, which establishes rules for the resumption of indoor dining on Friday, September 4 at 6:00 a.m., provided businesses comply with the health and safety standards issued by the Department of Health. The Governor’s Executive Order also contains requirements for movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses, where the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people.  The Governor’s Order also increases the limits for indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people, an increase from the current limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Other indoor gatherings, including house parties, remain at the limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 25 people.

“Given the progress we continue to see statewide, and with the proper precautions and limitations in place, I am proud that we can take this step today to allow our restaurants to once again welcome patrons back for indoor dining services,” said Governor Murphy. “Our job now is to ensure that this resumption only leads to future expansions of indoor capacity limits, and that we do not have to take a step backward.”

“Sitting at a table inside a favorite restaurant and enjoying a good meal with family and friends has been a shared missed experience for New Jerseyans,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The measures outlined in this directive will help ensure that restaurant-goers and staff alike remain healthy and protected from the spread of COVID-19.”

"We are excited to see the announcement allowing the start of indoor dining,” said Marilou Halvorsen, President of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association. “This has been a long road and I appreciate the Governor and his team communicating with the association and members of the industry.  The industry is ready for a safe reopening and getting New Jerseyans back to work. We look forward to the next phase."  


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Criminalizing A False 9-1-1 Call Based On Race Or Protected Class

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A1906), which would amend current law to include false incrimination and filing a false police report as a form of bias intimidation. The bill also establishes crime of false 9-1-1 call with purpose to intimidate or harass based on race or other protected class. 

“Using the threat of a 9-1-1 call or police report as an intimidation tactic against people of color is an unacceptable, abhorrent form of discrimination,” said Governor Murphy. “This irresponsible misuse of our 9-1-1 system places victims in a potentially dangerous situation, and can erode trust between Black and Brown New Jerseyans and law enforcement. Individuals who choose to weaponize this form of intimidation should held be accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

"Over the past two years we've worked hard to build and strengthen trust between communities and law enforcement, and this law will help us further racial justice while keeping our residents safe," said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. "Not only is falsely calling 911 a form of intimidation against people of color that places its victims in danger, it interferes with 911 emergency operators trying to save lives and puts law enforcement at risk. This law demonstrates New Jersey takes addressing racial bias incidents seriously."


Governor Murphy Recognizes Milestone For Latest Class Of Nj Transit Locomotive Engineers

Governor Phil Murphy and NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett recognized NJ TRANSIT’s latest Locomotive Engineer Training Class for completing their formal classroom training and passing the Northeast Operating Rules of Advisory Committee (NORAC) and physical characteristics exams. The class of 17 engineer trainees will complete their field training and begin their final check rides later this month. The trainees completed a rigorous 78-week long program and passed extensive testing, including a final exam of more than 800 questions.

The class will bring the total number of new engineers that have joined NJ TRANSIT since 2018 to 76 and brings the total active roster of engineers to 373. Over the two-year period between 2019 and 2020, NJ TRANSIT will have graduated seven classes of locomotive engineers – the same number of classes that graduated in the previous five years combined.

“We have spent the better part of 30 months turning NJ TRANSIT around, improving performance and responsiveness, and adding to the ranks of highly skilled engineers who share our commitment to creating a new culture of success at NJ TRANSIT,” said Governor Murphy. “At a critical juncture in our state’s history, this class will help millions of commuters build their own comeback stories and will serve an integral role in our ability to rebound from this pandemic stronger and fairer than ever.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Authorizing Municipalities And Counties To Issue Coronavirus Relief Bonds

Governor Murphy signed legislation (A3971) which authorizes municipalities and counties to borrow funds to cover revenue shortfalls and expenditures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by issuing bonds and notes. The final legislation included improvements recommended by Governor Murphy in his prior conditional veto issued on July 30, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis has left no corner of our state untouched,” said Governor Murphy. “In the absence of much-needed federal assistance, this legislation will provide an important tool to New Jersey’s municipalities and counties, allowing them to have access to the funds needed to continue serving residents.”

“Municipalities have significant fixed statutory expenses and provide essential services, which have increased as a result of the pandemic,” said Michael F. Cerra, Executive Director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. “Meanwhile local governments are experiencing significant declines in revenue during this pandemic and for the foreseeable future, most of which will not be recaptured. This new law will provide needed flexibility to maintain essential services, control property taxes and address this unprecedented financial distress. Our thanks to the Governor and all the legislative sponsors for partnering with the League and other interested stakeholders to provide this critical financial tool.”


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Expanding Access To Professional And Occupational Licenses

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2455), which prohibits lawful presence in the United States as a qualification to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. The bill impacts the roughly 500,000 undocumented residents in New Jersey, who will now be eligible for professional licenses such as nursing, counseling and cosmetology.  

“New Jersey is stronger when everyone is given the opportunity to contribute and everyone is given a chance to live their American Dream,” said Governor Murphy. “This law sends a simple, powerful message that immigration status can no longer be used as an excuse to discriminate among equally educated, trained, and qualified individuals. As we look toward our shared economic future, we must ensure that no one is left behind and everyone who puts forward the effort can succeed.”