Press Release
Senator Anthony M. Bucco Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25)
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Contact: Brad Schnure / (609) 847-3600
May 20, 2021
Bucco: Democrats Feeling Pressure on Bill Extending Murphy’s Emergency Powers Until 2022

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Legislation Allowing Mask & Social Distancing Restrictions to Continue Until Next Year Pulled from Today’s Assembly Agenda

Senator Anthony M. Bucco said it’s clear that public pressure to end the public health emergency immediately has helped to stall an ill-advised Democratic bill that would have extended Governor Phil Murphy’s emergency powers until next year.

Last week, Governor Murphy extended New Jersey’s public health emergency that began in March of 2020 for another 30 days. (New Jersey Office of the Governor/YouTube)

“Trenton Democrats actually seemed surprised to learn that New Jerseyans oppose their convoluted bill letting Governor Murphy maintain unnecessary mask and social distancing restrictions until 2022,” said Bucco (R-25). “If they had paid attention before today, they would have known that people want the public health emergency and all of the overbearing mandates to end immediately.”

In a statement issued prior to today’ session of the General Assembly, Speaker Craig Coughlin said he would postpone a vote on A-5777 to address concerns of “legislative colleagues, advocates, and other interested parties.”

The Democrats’ legislation as drafted would allow executive orders issued by Governor Murphy during the public health emergency to continue until 2022, even after the public health emergency has finally ended.

Under the bill, the governor would be allowed to maintain mask and social distancing restrictions that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says are unnecessary.

Bucco said legislators across the state have been bombarded with calls and emails from New Jerseyans who are outraged by the Democrats’ proposal.

“Trenton Democrats are clearly feeling the heat, so the public pressure is working,” added Bucco. “For once, they’re not barreling ahead with a bad plan in defiance of public sentiment. That doesn’t happen often. Maybe they’ll really shock us and join Republicans in working to end the public health emergency in full right now.”

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