Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan today slammed Governor Phil Murphy for failing to take a regional approach to reopen New Jersey.
“While the health of South Jerseyans have fared well throughout the shutdown, our livelihoods and finances have not,” said Testa. “Due to Murphy’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach across our state, more residents are unemployed in Cape May and Cumberland Counties now than throughout the Great Depression.
The First Legislative District repeatedly called for the regionalization approach to COVID-19.
“The governor failed to take pragmatic steps to aid our South Jersey economy. This is a man-made recession, and Murphy is the man to blame.”
Throughout the past two months, Testa has called repeatedly for New Jersey to open up on a regional basis. Legislative District 1, which includes Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic counties, accounts for less than 2% of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“There is no common sense, let alone science, involved in the Governor’s tone-deaf approach to reopening the Jersey Shore,” said Assemblyman Erik Simonsen. “Murphy has created an economic disaster in Cape May County, where less than 1% of the state’s COVID cases have occurred. Two weeks after Memorial Day Weekend, we see no spike a cases. Yet, more than 25 percent of our workforce is jobless in mid-June. Most of our key businesses remain shuttered. The Governor calls the right to protest vital, but ignores the rights of our residents to even provide food and shelter for their families. This is not America. We must reopen now!”
Assemblyman Simonsen noted that majority of cases in South Jersey are linked to the Governor’s failure to protect long term care facilities and the State’s prison system.
“Our businesses closed their doors in March. They have done their part to fight the spread of the virus and the price has already been too high. Many well never reopen.” Assemblyman Antwan McClellan said. “In exchange the Governor has broken his promises to both our business owners and their employees. Now our shore communities face record unemployment and less than 5 percent of CARES Act founding has gone to small businesses. The Governor completely ignored a safe and sensible plan submitted by the county that would have us open by now, using a regional approach that has work all over America. Meanwhile, the window is swiftly closing on any hope for a profitable summer season.”
“Gov. Murphy’s lack of attention and support for our coastal communities and family farmers is glaring,” added Testa. “Now that unemployment has skyrocketed, local industries will be paying the price for seasons to come. I will continue to stand up and fight for South Jersey’s families and businesses. We deserved better.”
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