Doherty blames Trenton Democrats for Phil Murphy’s king-like reign over New Jersey

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Phil Murphy Photo 130146681 © Laurence Agron |

TRENTON, NJ – Senator Michael Doherty said the New Jersey Legislature’s inaction in limiting executive authority has empowered Governor Phil Murphy to rule like a king.

“Governor Murphy’s declaration of a new ‘Public Health Emergency’ in defiance of the Legislature demonstrates exactly why we must assert ourselves as a co-equal branch of government and limit his emergency powers,” said Doherty (R-23). “We’re supposed to have a governor with limited authority under our New Jersey Constitution, but Murphy has been empowered by the Legislature’s inaction to rule like a king. ”

During sessions of the Senate and General Assembly on Monday, the Legislature declined to consider a resolution extending a limited selection of emergency powers that had been provided to the governor related to the pandemic.

Instead of accepting the Legislature’s decision to allow those powers to expire yesterday, Governor Murphy granted himself even greater emergency powers by declaring a new Public Health Emergency.

Doherty sponsors a constitutional amendment that would limit the effective period of certain emergency orders, rules, or regulations issued by the Governor to 14 days.

Under Doherty’s proposal, the governor would be prohibited from issuing an order, rule, or regulation that has substantially the same effect as one terminated pursuant to the amendment for the same emergency.

Three separate attempts by Republicans to force a vote on the measure were blocked by Senate Democrats.

“Until the Democratic leadership of the Senate and General Assembly show they are willing to hold the governor accountable, he’ll continue to rule by executive order without fear of consequences,” added Doherty. “It’s a slap in the face to New Jerseyans who want their legislators to put an end to Governor Murphy’s overbearing executive orders.”

The amendment was first introduced in June of 2020 as SCR-117. The bill was reintroduced in the new two-year legislative session that began on January 11, 2022 and designated SCR-14.