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State Sen. Paul Sarlo. (Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Two bills on Ukraine invasion sail through Senate

Sanctions bill now heads to Assembly, which will likely need to schedule new voting session

By Joey Fox, March 03 2022 5:50 pm

Two pieces of legislation addressing the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, one a resolution that generally condemns the invasion and another a sanctions bill that would prohibit state entities from financially interacting with Russia and Russian-backed companies, passed the State Senate unanimously today.

“New Jersey should be on the forefront,” State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), the sponsor of the sanctions bill, said on the Senate floor. “I know many other states will be following us legislatively, and many are starting to do it by executive order.”

The bill has not yet gone through the Assembly, which may present a problem, as the Assembly does not have another voting session scheduled until March 24; a brief session may be in the works for next Tuesday, before Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address, in order to pass the bill more efficiently.

In the meantime, Murphy signed an executive order this morning ordering state agencies to review their interactions with Russian companies, an order which Sarlo said “will allow no time to be wasted” as his own bill works through the legislature.

The resolution, on the other hand, was previously passed by the Assembly earlier this week. Immediately prior to the vote on the resolution, State Sen. and former Gov. Richard Codey (D-Roseland) spoke harshly against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s hard for me to understand, in the year 2022, how we’re still talking about wars with other countries,” Codey said.  “It’s unconscionable that this should be going on. Everyone in every civilized country should be condemning it… To Putin: You’re a bastard, may you rot in hell.”

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