Two Republican State Senators are seeking to limit Gov. Phil Murphy’s emergency powers.
A bill introduced last week by State Sens. Michael Testa (R-Vineland) and State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Washington) would require the governor to seek legislative approval for an executive order to last more than 14 days.
“Last I checked, the State of New Jersey had three branches of government, not one,” Doherty said. “The governor’s preference to lead via executive order rather than through collaboration with elected legislators has proven to be dangerous and deadly. Our proposal to place limits on executive authority will ensure that the administration is transparent about the continued need for any executive orders that it believes should be extended.”
The bill has eight Republican sponsors and is unlikely to see movement unless the GOP lawmakers can get Democratic leadership on board.
The attempt to limit Murphy’s power comes as Republicans intensify calls to reopen New Jersey businesses shuttered to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Gov. Murphy’s strategy of governing primarily through executive order is alarming,” Testa said. “Over the past two months, New Jerseyans have watched with frustration and anger as executive power has been abused with little input from the public. The governor has said repeatedly during his briefings that the public’s concerns don’t impact his decision-making process. That’s outrageous. Since Governor Murphy does not seem to care about the economic harm his executive orders are inflicting on New Jersey families and small businesses, it’s imperative that the Legislature has the opportunity to protect New Jerseyans.”