ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) criticized Governor Murphy’s double whammy today when he rescinded his announcement that restaurants will be able to open up indoors at 25% capacity this Thursday and he issued an absolute veto of a sensible piece of legislation that appropriated $100M of the $2.4B in CARES ACT money that New Jersey received from the Federal Government. This bill would have created a loan program for small restaurants that are in desperate need of financial aid.
The legislators issued the following statement:
“It’s a real slap in the face to the restaurant and hospital industry. This bipartisan bill has been sitting on his desk for a month now as restaurants cling to life. Now with this removal of indoor dining hundreds of thousands of restaurants will need even more money as they laid out supplies, staff, and cleaning in anticipation of a reopening. We are killing them with this crushing decision only three days before reopening.
“The Governor’s veto states that ‘In the coming weeks and months, the EDA will provide assistance to tens of thousands of additional businesses through existing programs and new initiatives. …’ Is that a sick joke? In the coming weeks and months?! Has the Governor walked down a Main Street recently? We have been watching businesses permanently shutter left and right as this administration drags their feet on throwing a life and then doesn’t throw one at all. Lives are being ruined as winners and losers are being chosen.
“We realize that there have been flare ups in other states but New Jersey was already moving slowly with reopening and we were already planning on doing a fraction of the capacity — and social distancing inclusion — than other states had. Now to do nothing is simply heartbreaking. Murphy is like watching a fireman saying they need to save their water as a town slowly burns to the ground. He’s making so many sectors suffer in an attempt to get the legislature to give him the ability to issue billions in bonds before we even know what more assistance the States will be given. It’s madness.”