New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio: Governor’s Executive Orders Continue to Skirt the Law

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Civilian Defense and Control Act Subjects Governor’s Edicts to Mandatory Business Compensation

Montville, NJ – State Senator Joe Pennacchio is calling on Governor Murphy to uphold the Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act often cited by the Governor in shuttering businesses.

The Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act often cited by the Governor as giving him the power to shutter businesses also requires those businesses to be compensated, Senator Pennacchio contends. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The act likely allows the Governor to close businesses and services,” said the Senator, “however, the act also states clearly (NJSA App. A:9-34) that those closed businesses and services must be compensated because of his actions.”

The statute even spells out (NJSA App. A:9-51) the mechanism for compensation.  The law establishes a three-person emergency compensation board in each county. The boards are empowered to award reasonable compensation to those injured by the Governor’s actions.

“Under current statue, the Governor likely has the authority to control the opening and closing of businesses, but by ignoring the statutory language concerning compensation, his actions appear to be in violation of the law,” Pennacchio argued.

The Senator emphasized that the Governor’s actions were selective, applying to some businesses but not all.

“It is very evident that the Governor was picking winners and losers. Those ‘losers’ deserve compensation,” said Senator Pennacchio.

The Senator is the inspiration behind a group called “Rescue New Jersey.”  Spearheaded by attorneys Robert Ferguson and Catherine M. Brown, the group is challenging the Governor’s emergency actions on behalf of the owner of JWC Fitness, LLC, who had to close her business because of the Governor’s arbitrary mandates.

Rescue New Jersey Chairman Donald Dinsmore is currently looking for additional avenues to challenge the Governor’s arbitrary mandates.

“The courts are the last vestige of hope for JWC Fitness, as well as other businesses in New Jersey,” Dinsmore said.

“I am confident that the judicial system will correctly apply the law,” Pennacchio added.

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