Senator Michael Doherty criticized Governor Phil Murphy’s refusal to follow the rest of the nation in lifting his unnecessary mask mandate along with a convoluted bill (A-5777) by legislative Democrats to end the public health emergency without actually limiting the governor’s emergency powers.
Sen. Michael Doherty criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s refusal to follow the rest of the nation in lifting his unnecessary mask mandate along with a bill by Democrats to end the public health emergency without actually limiting the governor’s emergency powers. (New Jersey Office of the Governor/YouTube)
“It’s ridiculous that New Jerseyans are the last people in America subject to pointless mask mandates that King Murphy refuses to eliminate,” said Doherty (R-23). “The governor has been allowed to act like a king because legislative Democrats have refused any effort to hold him accountable for his lunacy. Their new bill rubberstamping his executive orders until 2022 looks more like Stockholm syndrome than true oversight by a supposedly co-equal branch of government. It’s sad, not just for Democrats, but for every New Jersey resident who will continue to suffer due to their lack of leadership.”
Doherty said Governor Murphy’s actions during the pandemic demonstrate the dangers of the sweeping authority that New Jersey’s laws grant to the state’s chief executive during times of emergency.
“A governor needs to be able to respond quickly when emergencies happen, but they shouldn’t be able to grant themselves open-ended powers as Governor Murphy has done for more than a year by repeatedly extending New Jersey’s public health emergency,” said Doherty. “He closed schools, shut down businesses, and cost two-million people their jobs without any requirement that he consult anyone. At some point, the public deserves for their elected legislators to have a say on important matters impacting the lives and livelihoods of their constituents.”
Doherty and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) sponsor legislation, S-2482, which would prohibit certain emergency executive orders from lasting more that fourteen days unless the legislature approves an extension.
They introduced the bill in May of 2020 when it was clear that Governor Murphy had no intention of ceding emergency powers he assumed at the start of the pandemic.
Subsequent attempts by Doherty and Testa to force votes on the legislation by the full Senate were immediately tabled by the Senate Democratic Majority on several occasions.
“It’s a real shame Trenton Democrats have been unwilling to work with us on a clean fix to the problem that’s obvious to virtually everyone in New Jersey,” added Doherty. “We know the pandemic isn’t the last emergency our state will face, but it should be the last time a governor will ever be allowed to abuse emergency powers so blatantly. We can’t let this happen again.”
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