TOMS RIVER, NJ – As the seeds of the revolution in New Jersey against Governor Phil Murphy’s draconian executive orders began today at a Bellmawr gym, some lawmakers from the Jersey Shore are seeking harsher penalties against those who defy those orders. New Jersey Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, out of New Jersey’s District 10 want to fine those who violate those orders as much as $15,000. This comes as Murphy himself has begun slightly relaxing rules he imposed to force New Jersey businesses to shut down.
McGuckin Calls for Stronger Penalties
“There must be a stronger penalty for violating the social distancing orders during this outbreak,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “The strong financial penalties that would be imposed by our legislation should discourage people from hosting gatherings in violation of the prohibition during this crisis.”
A press release written by the District 10 legislators read, “In response to the continuation of public gatherings in various parts of the state in violation of an executive order during the COVID-19 public health crisis and State of Emergency, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) will introduce legislation to create significant monetary penalties for those who host gatherings in violation of the “Emergency Health Powers Act.” Governor Murphy has ordered all New Jerseyans to stay home to slow the transmission and spread of the coronavirus, a highly infectious disease.”
$15,000 Fines for Violating Murphy’s Law
The bill would establish a monetary penalty of $10,000 to $15,000 for any person who willfully or knowingly hosts gatherings in violation of any provision of the “Emergency Health Powers Act.” Gatherings of all kinds including weddings, parties, and social events have been prohibited by the Governor since March 21 when he issued an executive order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“According to the legislation, the host of any indoor or outdoor social gathering that exceeds the number permitted to gather will be penalized when an order intended is to prevent the transmission or spread of an infectious disease,” the bill proposed by Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin read. “The penalty would be sued for and collected by the Commissioner of Health, along with all costs associated with the commissioner’s enforcement action.”
You Better Think Twice About Violating Murphy’s Law
“To combat the spread of this disease, we must adhere to the Governor’s orders to stay at home and distance ourselves from our friends and family,” added Assemblyman Catalano. “We know that socially distancing is hard, but it’s critically necessary to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in a way that would overwhelm our hospitals and result in the unnecessary loss of life. We hope that a substantial fine will make individuals think twice if they are considering to host a party or have friends over.”
The bill is picking up support locally in one town. Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina and the township council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that supported McGuckin’s increased penalties against those who violate Murphy’s Law.
Press Release Removed from Republican Party Website
After receiving a less than favorable response from the public, McGuckin removed the press release from his press website today, but a copy remains on the WayBackMachine Internet Archive.