Press Release
Senator Declan O'Scanlon Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13)
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Contact: Shawna Sullivan / (732) 444-1838
June 11, 2020
O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Local Governments ‘Defying’ Murphy have Higher Obligation to Residents

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth) commented on the news that the City of Asbury Park had passed a resolution allowing limited indoor dining by June 15 in direct violation of the Governor’s executive order. At this time the administration has only allowed outdoor dining on June 15th.

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso spoke out in support of Asbury Park’s decision to open restaurants for limited indoor dining on June 15 in direct violation of the Governor’s orders. (SenateNJ.com)

“I stand with Asbury and any other municipality that joins them. At some point, if a higher level of government attempts to force a lower one to turn on the very people both took an oath to serve, it becomes the right, in fact the obligation, of the lower level to refuse to comply,” said O’Scanlon. “Unless the governors of the 49 other states have abandoned science, it is now painfully obvious that the Murphy administration has abandoned common sense.”

As of June 9 the Governor announced indoor gatherings at 25% capacity or 50 people, however he bafflingly stated that this indoor guidance excluded restaurants.

“Asbury Park is absolutely doing the right thing here. They have a duty to help their constituents when the Governor is being completely arbitrary in his reopening plans,” said DiMaso. “Allowing for more indoor gatherings but excluding restaurants makes no sense.”

“Week after week I’ve warned the administration that its random, illogical, nonsensical, and economically devastating slow-roll reopening ‘plan’ was so destructive that it ran the risk of fostering rebellion. And here we are. The Murphy administration has micro-managed itself into irrelevance. Government fosters compliance with credibility. The Murphy administration abandoned credibility, and now faces the loss of compliance,” O’Scanlon continued.

O’Scanlon and DiMaso have spoken out publicly countless times on the plight of business owners and illogical closures and reopenings.

“This frustration has been building for more than a month. As time went on and more businesses began to fail, the seeds of skepticism, frustration, and resistance took root. The administration had no explanation for the bizarre, illogical conflicts in which businesses it allowed to open and those it forced to remain closed. The micro-managed, unworkable regulations for even the activities it permitted to reopen – from parks to day-care centers to golf courses to to-go cocktails – sapped the faith anyone had that folks running things knew what they were doing.”

“On top of all of the arbitrary exclusions we also hear constantly about the overwhelming number of regulations that come with some of these reopenings. Just today we heard from towns that pools which are set to reopen on June 22 received seven pages of regulations they need to meet in order to open,” DiMaso said. “Included in those regulations are things like measuring the amount of concrete a pool has to determine how many people they can let in, and limiting people to two-hour time slots and then cleaning the lounges for the next two-hour group. Doing all of this while increasing outdoor gatherings to 250 people on the same day is completely ludicrous.”

A small selection of the Administration’s more confounding actions have included: permitting big box stores to open but keeping almost all small retail – no matter a store’s preparedness – to remain closed, closing state and county parks yet allowing municipal parks to remain open, waiting until June 15 to allow for even outdoor dining while increasing outdoor and indoor gathering capacities, setting an arbitrary July 6 date for graduations while simultaneously increasing outdoor gatherings in excess of even many graduating class sizes, and not allowing for extended school year or reopening the in-person therapies so many special education students desperately need.

O’Scanlon and DiMaso proposed a reopening plan on May 12 to open the state with a framework “dictated by common sense that also avoided micro-management of economic recovery.”

“We heard nothing substantial on this proposal,” said DiMaso. “The administration proceeded to move along at a glacial pace with overwhelming rules for those openings. Rules which, at this point, we can agree don’t show that facts determine dates. The facts show us that if we applied common sense we could have opened restaurants, businesses, and others a month ago.”

“Local government officials and desperate businesses were forced to watch as cars drove by their shuttered establishments across the bridges into Pennsylvania, Delaware and even New York. Those cars carried with them thousands of precious customers, untold millions of dollars and, for many businesses, their last hope of survival. Protecting the people we took an oath to serve is an obligation superior to any obligation to comply with orders from a higher level of government that run counter to our oath.” stated O’Scanlon.

“It’s time for the Murphy administration to admit that the current path of micro-management simply isn’t working. It is needlessly holding up our vital reopening. He must simply defer to county and local officials, as well as businesses, to permit everything to open within basic, logical, safety guidelines.”

Website Post:
https://www.senatenj.com/index.php/oscanlon/oscanlon-dimaso-local-governments-defying-murphy-have-higher-obligation-to-residents/48725