Governor Murphy Extends Health Emergency: Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 171, extending the state’s Public Health Emergency which was originally declared on March 9, 2020 – and was previously extended on April 7, May 6, and July 2. Under the emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed.
“New Jersey has made a lot of progress in the fight against COVID-19, but we cannot declare victory yet,” said governor Murphy. “As we continue to save lives and stop a resurgence of this virus, we need access to all resources available to do so.”
Tighter Restrictions Imposed on Indoor Gatherings: Governor Murphy tightened restrictions on indoor gatherings after raising concerns over signs of spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. The limit for indoor gatherings had increased to 25% of a building’s capacity or a maximum of 100 people in June. That was up from the previous maximum of 50 people.
“We cannot be any clearer that indoor gatherings — especially large, crowded ones, where social distancing isn’t being practiced and face masks aren’t being worn — are not safe,” he said. “To be clear, this tightening caps house parties at 25 people — period.”
Murphy’s $9.9 Billion Borrowing Plan Heads to Court: This Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments that will begin a case to determine whether or not the Governor’s plan to borrow $9.9 billion violates the State’s constitution – specifically appropriations and debt-limitation clauses. These two clauses restrict the state from operating with an unbalanced budget and also require voter approval for any general-obligation debt issue that equals more than 1% of the total spending in a given fiscal year.
The justice’s ruling in the case has the potential to reset legal precedent on strong spending and borrowing restrictions written into the Constitution to keep the state from running up a huge credit-card bill without voter approval.
Face Coverings Mandated for Students: The New Jersey Department of Education will be requiring that all students wear a face covering, at all times while inside a school building, regardless of social distancing protocols unless it would inhibit the individual’s health. The Department also announced that there will be several exemptions to this regulation, including and exemption for certain students with disabilities.
Tesla Builds New Supercharging Stations in Deptford: Tesla announced the completion of a 150 kW, 12 stall, direct current, fast charging, Supercharger site for eclectic vehicles in Deptford, New Jersey. This charging station is now open and available to the community.
PSEG to Divest Fleet of Fossil Fuel Plants: Public Service Enterprise Group announced that it will sell off or divest its fleet of fossil-fuel plants, a decision that aligns with its stated goal to transform the company into primarily a regulated gas and electric utility.
The decision reflects the declining profitability and volatility of the power-supply market and the fact that Public Service Electric & Gas, the company’s utility, already accounts for roughly 80% of PSEG’s operating earnings. PSEG plans to retain its nuclear units — awarded $300 million in annual ratepayer subsidies two years ago.