GOVERNOR MURPHY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN RESPONSE TO WINTER STORM ORLENA
Governor Phil Murphy declared that New Jersey has entered a state of emergency in response to Winter Storm Orlena. Executive Order No. 218 declared a state of emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the storm.
Parts of New Jersey experienced heavy snow, coastal flooding, and blizzard-like conditions. To prepare for the winter storm, the New Jersey State Police activated the State Emergency Operations Center in order to monitor the storm. The New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and South Jersey Transportation Authority deployed over 3,900 plows and spreaders to keep roads and communities safe.
GOVERNOR MURPHY WELCOMES HOME NEW JERSEY NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS RETURNING FROM MISSION TO WASHINGTON D.C.
Governor Murphy and Interim Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs Colonel Lisa Hou welcomed home members of the New Jersey National Guard from their mission to Washington, D.C.
Over 500 National Guard members were sent to Washington, D.C. following the violent insurrection at the Capitol in order to assist with the peaceful transition of power.
GOVERNOR MURPHY SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER RAISING INDOOR CAPACITY LIMITS FROM 25 PERCENT TO 35 PERCENT FOR CERTAIN BUSINESSES
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 219, which increases indoor capacity limits from 25 percent to 35 percent for several businesses, including food and beverage establishments and entertainment and recreational businesses, effective Friday, February 5 at 8:00 a.m. The Executive Order also lifts the 10:00 p.m. curfew for in-person indoor restaurant service, however local officials may continue to regulate the hours of operation of indoor restaurant service and indoor operations of other non-essential businesses after 8:00 p.m., as they have been able to since November 12. The prohibition on seating at indoor bar areas remains in effect.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, my Administration has used science, data, and facts to guide our decision-making process,” said Governor Murphy. “The downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our hospitals, coupled with the state’s decreasing rate of transmission, allows us to confidently expand our indoor capacity limits without leading to undue further stress on our health care systems. I am incredibly grateful to the millions of New Jerseyans who have been vigilant in practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings, and I urge everyone to continue their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
GOVERNOR MURPHY LAUNCHES NEW JERSEY'S FIRST ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT AND REDUCE CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND ADVERSITY
Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, First Lady Tammy Murphy, and New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer launched New Jersey’s first Adverse Childhood Experiences Action Plan, a comprehensive statewide strategy to prevent and reduce childhood trauma and adversity. The action plan outlines several initiatives to identify, coordinate, and advance programs and services across state government to reduce and prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that negatively impact the developing brain and lead to lifelong social, physical, emotional, and economic challenges.
“Building a stronger and fairer New Jersey for our families has been a top priority of my Administration,” said Governor Murphy. “This statewide strategy creates groundbreaking solutions to deal with issues that plague our children, such as the compounded effects of adverse childhood experiences. With this plan, New Jersey will become a leader in tackling adverse childhood experiences and break the cycle of trauma before it manifests into negative health outcomes.”
“The socio-economic fallout of this pandemic is tremendous and will mean more adverse conditions for children that can sometimes lead to homelessness and ensuing trauma,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “As Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, we will be a partner in this Action Plan to help ensure that children and families live in good conditions with the supportive services they need – whether it be housing, healthcare, or behavioral.”
“The toxic stress of adverse childhood experiences is inextricably linked to New Jersey’s maternal and infant health crisis,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Soon-to-be mothers who have suffered from adverse childhood experiences are at greater risk of having children with reduced birth weight, shorter gestational age, developmental challenges, and socio-emotional problems. Further, the adversities that lead to these health outcomes disproportionately impact people of color. Together, the New Jersey Adverse Childhood Experience Action Plan and the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan will effect positive change that will ripple through the lives of New Jersey families for generations to come.”
“Neutralizing childhood trauma is crucial to building strong families because we know from the research and the work we do that ACEs are a root cause for a lot of the physical, social, economic and familial health challenges we see when supporting New Jersey’s children and families,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “To prevent and reduce child abuse, neglect and other maltreatment, we first need to disrupt the cycle of trauma and help children and adults to heal from adversity.”
“This Action Plan lays out a path of hard work and heart-work. We are more than our collective traumas; we are our potential for resilience and our capacity for strength,” said Dave Ellis, Executive Director of the Office of Resilience. “The need to mitigate the impacts of ACEs is especially salient given our collective exposure to COVID-19, racial injustice, and social unrest. Learning about oneself can be a great awakening and catalyst for courage, compassion and clarity. I look forward to raising awareness and setting New Jersey on a course towards healing.”
GOVERNOR MURPHY SIGNS LEGISLATION TO EXPAND OUTDOOR DINING
Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will expand opportunities for outdoor dining in New Jersey.
The bill (S3340) sets forth a framework for municipalities to allow restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries to utilize outdoor spaces or public sidewalks as extensions of their business premises. Many municipalities across the state have been taking these steps since the Governor authorized outdoor dining in June 2020. The bill was sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo, Vin Gopal, Nellie Pou and Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Assembly representatives Roy Freiman, Vince Mazzeo, Anthony Verrelli and Eric Houghtaling.
“As we weather the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continually trying to find new and innovative ways to aid our state’s business community while not sacrificing our public health,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This bill will give our restaurants more certainty for the future so they can once again lean into the outdoor expansions we allowed this past summer to help recoup losses and strengthen their businesses and the jobs they support.”
The bill extends the effective period of permits issued under an ABC special ruling made last summer that allowed licensees to expand the premises where they can serve alcoholic beverages to include outdoor spaces. Restaurants will now be able to maintain the permit through November 30, 2022, or the date at which indoor dining returns to full capacity at restaurants – whichever is later. In a signing statement, Governor Murphy noted that this extension will be automatic for all permitholders. The bill also establishes protocols for municipalities to review and approve outdoor space expansion requests by restaurants without liquor licenses and those with liquor licenses that have not previously obtained expansion permits.