TRENTON, N.J. – Yesterday Gov. Phil Murphy announced that restaurants could not reopen on Thursday, July 2, and instead declared that indoor dining is prohibited indefinitely. Assemblyman Brian Bergen is calling out Murphy for being inconsiderate of the costs of running a business.
“Governor Murphy has demonstrated to us time and time again that he doesn’t understand small businesses and has no advisors that do,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “How can you tell restaurants that they can open, allow them to hire staff, order food, take reservations, invest in safety protocols, then rip away that permission in the eleventh hour? Nobody outside the administration knows the data he is using to make decisions, but it is evident his view of the data changes arbitrarily and subjectively.”
On the same day as his announcement that restaurants could not reopen, Murphy vetoed a bill (A-3959/S-2371), which would have provided additional programs to help restaurants stay afloat.
Murphy closed restaurants because of residents he calls “knuckleheads” and Covid-19 spikes in other states that have opened. Those spikes were reported before Murphy first decided to allow indoor dining last week.
“Restaurants are some of the hardest-hit businesses,” said Bergen “The governor obliterated their hopes yesterday by vetoing legislation that would give them financial support, then shut them down for a second time after giving them the idea to spend what little money they have left on business they don’t have.”
On May 11, Bergen introduced legislation (A4147) that would require the governor to seek legislative approval for executive orders that would last beyond 14 days. Democrats shot down the bill when Republicans motioned for its passage at an Assembly session last week.
“We need checks and balances on the governor. I have legislation that does that, but the Democrats prefer to sit on their hands instead of enforcing checks and balances in government. How long can we live under complete autonomous rule by one man? It’s time to finally take some action,” concluded Bergen.