Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Pausing Indoor Practices and Competitions For Youth and Adults Sports and Lowering Limits On Outdoor Gatherings
Governor Phil Murphy last night signed Executive Order No. 204, which pauses indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports from Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 a.m. through Saturday, January 2, 2021. The EO also lowers the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people, effective Monday, December 7 at 6:00 a.m.
“As we battle the second wave of COVID-19, we must continue to take all steps necessary to prevent needless infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from this deadly virus,” said Governor Murphy. “While there is hope on the horizon in the form of several vaccines, in the interim, we are taking these steps today to protect our communities. It is our intention for indoor sports to resume in the new year, but this can only happen if our state remains committed to the fight against COVID-19.”
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Expanding Eligibility For Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A4852) expanding eligibility for extended UI benefits to claimants who either had been eligible for regular UI benefits prior to exhausting those benefits or earned 40 times their unemployment weekly benefits rate. Per prior law, eligibility for extended UI benefits, which offer up to an additional 20 weeks of benefits, was limited to claimants who satisfied both criteria.
“We have an obligation to make sure that New Jerseyans can stay afloat during these extraordinarily challenging times.” said Governor Murphy. “While we desperately need the federal government to step up, we’re doing our part to help working people weather the storm. This law will help many residents that were previously ineligible for extended UI benefits to get the financial relief that they earned and deserve.”
"We applaud the Legislature and the Governor for enacting this legislation, which will provide extended unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of additional workers at a time when they most need the support," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
Governor Murphy Announces Retirement of Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine Mccabe
Governor Phil Murphy announced that Catherine R. McCabe, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will be retiring as of January 15, 2021.
Commissioner McCabe was an early appointment to Governor Murphy’s cabinet, selected to lead the high-impact agency after a long career as an environmental lawyer and manager with the federal government, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice. McCabe last served as Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA’s Region 2 office in New York City from 2014 to 2018. In 2017, she served as the Acting Administrator of the EPA and as Acting Regional Administrator of EPA Region 2.
“Through Catherine’s leadership, our Administration has advanced critical initiatives to protect the environment and public health for future generations,” said Governor Murphy. “From helping to enact New Jersey’s first-in-the-nation environmental justice law to reigniting the State’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, Commissioner McCabe has restored the Department to its rightful place as a national leader in environmental protection. I wish her nothing but the best as she enters retirement. There is no greater job than being a grandmother.”
“It has been an honor to lead New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, helping to implement Governor Murphy’s bold vision in this critical time,” said Commissioner McCabe. “Together with partners across the Administration, supported by DEP’s exceptional career professionals, we have made New Jersey stronger and fairer through our respect for science and the rule of law, our commitment to equity and environmental justice, and stepping up to confront the most pressing environmental and public health challenges of our time. I am confident that, under Governor Murphy’s leadership, our DEP team will continue to ensure that future generations of New Jerseyans will breathe cleaner air, drink safer water, and enjoy our abundant natural resources.”
DCA Announces Award Of $2.6 Million In Neighborhood Preservation Covid-19 Relief Grants
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced the award of $2.6 million in Neighborhood Preservation COVID-19 Relief Grants to 19 municipalities participating in the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP). The grants aim to promote the continued recovery and revitalization of NPP communities from the COVID-19 crisis by providing funding for eligible coronavirus response activities with a special emphasis on supporting impacted small businesses.
“Governor Murphy and I recognize how important it is that Neighborhood Preservation Program communities receive funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we have allocated federal coronavirus aid to them,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The grant funding will be used to help these neighborhoods, which are particularly vulnerable to the crisis, recover faster by investing in their small businesses and in activities meant to draw people to live, work, and visit these places.”
The relief grants are funded by an allocation from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2.6 million in grant funds were awarded to municipalities that have a current, approved Neighborhood Preservation Program Implementation Plan through the local government or an NPP partner nonprofit organization. At least 60 percent of the funding is for business uses and must be distributed to small businesses located in their NPP neighborhood district boundaries with other funding dedicated to district-wide improvements that benefit both the local business and residential communities.
New Jersey Division Of Highway And Traffic Safety Kicks Off "Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over" Campaign Against Impaired Driving"
To help ensure safety on the State’s roadways, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (“the Division”) announced the kick-off of a statewide traffic safety campaign targeting drunk and impaired drivers.
Law enforcement agencies across the state will be patrolling New Jersey roads looking for drunk and impaired drivers as part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign, which runs through January 1, 2021.
New Jersey’s campaign is part of a nationwide effort to reduce crash risks during the holiday season. To assist with New Jersey’s enforcement efforts, the Division has awarded grants totaling $656,340 to 114 agencies across the state to fund enhanced patrolling and high-visibility sobriety checkpoints throughout New Jersey during the month of December.
“This has been a year of tremendous loss for New Jersey residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are all feeling especially grateful for the loved ones with us this holiday season,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Help ensure that everyone can safely celebrate this year by driving sober and unimpaired. Drunk driving crashes are tragic and preventable. We are stepping up patrols and enforcement to keep New Jersey roadways safe for all who use them this holiday season.”