New Jersey's 10th Legislative District

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano

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10th District Lawmakers Decry Disingenuous Legislation that Fails to Curb Murphy’s Autocratic Rule

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Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) lamented legislation touted by the Governor and majority Democrats for ending the extensive public health emergency as a misleading political stunt.

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano lamented legislation touted by the Governor and majority Democrats for ending the extensive public health emergency as a misleading political stunt. (SenateNJ.com)

“As we have seen with Murphy’s refusal to follow other states and CDC guidelines for mask-wearing, his arbitrary directives often defy both science and common sense,” said Senator Holzapfel. “As restaurants, schools and everyday New Jerseyans struggle to get back to ‘business as usual,’ state government should be doing the same. It is time to rein in the Governor and restore power to the elected representatives in the Senate and Assembly, as intended by the state constitution.”

The bill (A-5777) promises to “provide for termination of the public health emergency declared by the Governor to address COVID-19 pandemic,” but it falls well short of that “goal,” the 10th District lawmakers said.

“Frankly, it’s disappointing. The bill voted on in the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week is not as advertised,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “The Democrats are playing a shell game that portends to abolish the health emergency and Murphy’s thirst for unilateral authority. In actuality this bill would perpetuate the power grab and passively acquiesce to the governor’s desire for autonomy from the elected Legislature.”

Murphy declared the public health emergency in March, at the onset of the pandemic. He has used the emergency powers to circumvent the Legislature and issue directives that led to almost 10,000 deaths in nursing homes, crippled small businesses and the economy, and disrupted education for students across the state.

“It’s a scam,” Assemblyman Catalano said of the bill, approved in the Assembly committee with party line vote. “Rather than repealing Murphy’s emperor-like rule, the legislation emboldens its continuation. Partisan smoke and mirrors are exercised to ensure the governor can continue his reign as dictator-by-executive-order without consenting with legislators elected by their constituents to represent them in Trenton.”

Holzapfel, McGuckin and Catalano are sponsors of legislation (S-2482) and a constitutional amendment (SCR-117) to strip the Governor of emergency powers after 14 days unless an extension is approved by the Legislature.

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