TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywomen Marilyn Piperno and Kim Eulner, two new Republican members of the Assembly, said Gov. Phil Murphy reinstating New Jersey’s Public Health Emergency despite legislative objections undermines the government’s balance of power.
“Governor Murphy decided to disregard his agreement with the legislature last June to limit his executive powers to certain orders. His constant need for more power without legislative input is one of the reasons people pushed back last year, just like many are pushing back against this new executive order,” said Piperno (R-Monmouth). “Checks and balances ensured through the three separate, but equal, branches of government don’t seem to be important to him. We are committed to serving our constituents and will not let one man, who acts on the behalf of special interests, stand in our way.”
While the Senate and Assembly swore in lawmakers on Tuesday to mark the start of the new legislative session, Gov. Murphy issued an executive order declaring another public health emergency.
“The Legislature can’t let the governor go unchecked. We saw how his decisions literally killed small businesses and our most vulnerable residents in nursing homes and state-run veterans homes during the first wave of the pandemic, and now he wants another go? I don’t think so,” said Eulner (R-Monmouth). “I am poised with my running mate and colleagues on either side of the aisle to rein in his powers.”
Republicans sponsor a bill (A875) to limit the length of the governor’s executive orders to 14 days. Under the bill, extensions could only be granted by the Legislature. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, the Public Health Emergency will expire after 30 days, unless renewed. The governor’s office says that Covid-19 metrics will be re-evaluated in a month to determine if an extension will be needed.