Home>Governor>Durr on Murphy executive order: ‘No more Murphy mandates’

State Sen. Edward Durr at anti-vaxx rally December 20, 2021. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Durr on Murphy executive order: ‘No more Murphy mandates’

By Joey Fox, January 20 2022 1:48 pm

State Sen. Ed Durr (R-Swedesboro), currently serving in his second week as a legislator after unexpectedly defeating Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) last year, today criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order mandating vaccines and boosters for health care workers with no test-out option.

“Testing seems to be the one thing that’s somewhat effective at stopping the spread of the Omicron variant, so it doesn’t make any sense for Governor Murphy to take that away as an option for health care workers,” Durr said in a statement. “Nurses know that, which is exactly why their union blasted the executive order, saying it ‘eliminated an important tool in slowing the spread of the virus.’”

The test-out option for most health care workers would have been phased out anyways, however, under a Biden administration mandate requiring most of the nation’s health care employees to be vaccinated.

In his statement, Durr went on to repeat what has become a popular talking point among Republicans in the legislature: that the governor’s powers have gone too far, and that Democratic legislative leaders need to rein Murphy in.

“I’m calling on the leadership in both houses of the legislature to take back the power it has ceded to the executive branch, end the mandates, and restore the proper functioning of our state government,” Durr said.

Two other Republicans who won upset victories last November, Assemblywomen Kim Eulner (R-Shrewsbury) and Marilyn Piperno (R-Colts Neck), also released a statement critical of Murphy’s executive order.

“With the swift-spreading omicron variant, our overtaxed health care systems can’t afford to lose dedicated and skilled staff because of an edict that contradicts all logic,” Piperno said. “Purposely interrupting critical care delivery is a dangerous proposal.”

Though the legislature declined to extend Murphy’s emergency powers in its final lame duck voting day last week, Murphy soon afterwards declared a public health emergency that allowed him to retain executive control over many Covid-related policies. Yesterday’s order, which also applies to workers in high-risk congregate living facilities (though they will not lose the test-out option), is meant as a response to the still-ongoing Omicron variant wave of Covid.

This story was updated at 4:55 p.m. with a statement from Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno.

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