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Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Ciattarelli tells legislature to reject emergency pandemic bill

By David Wildstein, June 03 2021 9:35 am

Bills being considered today by the New Jersey Legislature today that would allow Gov. Phil Murphy to direct the ongoing Covid crisis while ending the state’s public health emergency is being opposed by Jack Ciattarelli, a Republican candidate for governor.

“Make no mistake, Phil Murphy has no problem hijacking our democracy and wielding the power of a king while making unilateral decisions without any regard to whom he is impacting,” Ciattarelli said.  “It is the job of the legislature on both sides of the aisle to end the insanity in Trenton.”

The new bills, sponsored Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin would keep in place 14 of Murphy’s executive orders but adds legislative oversight not present in a version of the bill killed by Democratic opposition in late May.

“In the strongest terms possible, I am calling on the State Senate and Assembly to put aside partisan politics, do the right thing, and end any measures that grant the governor permanent executive power,” said Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman. “As New Jersey’s next governor, I will proudly leave the power where it belongs, with the people and the local leaders they have elected.”

Republicans and some Democrats – believe the bill did not go far enough.  Some have called for an extension of eviction moratoriums and others believe it has harmed landlords.

The measure is part of a deal between the governor and Democratic legislative leaders to see the state’s public health emergency declaration lapse in mid-June.

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