TRENTON, NJ – On Friday, there were just 300 or so confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey and 1 ‘probable’ confirmed death. Overall, COVID-19 cases are down significantly since January of 2022, but New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is continuing the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency that gives his office special powers.
In May, the federal government will officially be ending the pandemic state of emergency and New Jersey Senator Mike Testa said it’s time for Governor Phil Murphy to do the same.
A day after final congressional approval was given to end the national COVID-19 emergency, Senator Michael Testa said it’s time for Governor Phil Murphy to end New Jersey’s pandemic state of emergency.
“New Jersey’s ongoing state of emergency gives the governor and state departments the authority to keep unnecessary directives in place, and it allows the governor to continue spending billions in federal relief funds with almost no transparency or oversight,” said Testa (R-1). “It also allows the Murphy administration to circumvent the Legislature and diminish our constitutional authority as a co-equal branch of government. Now that the federal emergency is ending, Governor Murphy needs to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is over and it’s time to give up his emergency powers.”
The United States Senate approved ending the federal pandemic emergency in a bipartisan 68-23 vote. The Biden administration has indicated the president would sign the joint resolution, which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
While New Jersey’s public health emergency was terminated in 2021, the general state of emergency related to COVID-19 that was first declared on March 9, 2020 remains in effect.
“A state of emergency is designed to empower a governor to respond quickly when needed, but the danger is that it allows good government protections to be bypassed,” Testa added. “That’s why we can’t allow declared emergencies to drag on for years without end. Governor Murphy has no excuse to continue clinging to the emergency powers that his administration has abused for far too long.”