Murphy’s latest restaurant lockdown seems arbitrary, says Bergen

Murphy’s latest restaurant lockdown seems arbitrary, says Bergen

Brian Bergen

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Brian Bergen questioned Gov. Phil Murphy’s order Monday for restaurants to stop indoor dining by 10 p.m.

“What makes it any more dangerous to eat indoors at 10 p.m. than at 7 p.m.?” asked Bergen (R-Morris). “I would pay to see the data.”

At a Monday briefing on the virus, Murphy said that restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges and casinos will no longer be able to serve food or alcohol indoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Bergen said that Murphy should not be the sole arbiter of statewide decisions.

“I put a bill up months ago that would require Governor Murphy to involve the legislature in his decision making,” said Bergen. “The majority party refused to hear it and now here we are again with the governor unilaterally picking and choosing which industries to target.”

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 voted it down when Republicans motioned for its passage at an Assembly session in June.

“Mark my words, this is the governor’s shot across the bow of shutting us down again,” predicted Bergen. “How long can we live under complete autonomous rule by one man? It is time the legislature restores checks and balances on the governor.”