Murphy Increases Capacity on Indoor Dining: Just days before Superbowl Sunday, Governor Murphy has signed an Executive Order increasing indoor capacity limits from 25% to 35% and removing the 10:00 PM curfew for restaurants. The Executive Order will go into effect at 6:00 AM on Friday.
As per the order, restaurants, gyms, casinos, personal care businesses, amusement and recreational facilities will be allowed up to 35% capacity indoors. Also included in the Murphy’s Executive Order are performance venues, religious ceremonies, weddings, political activities and memorial services/funerals. However, the maximum number of people allowed inside at any venue will be capped at 150.
NJBPU Approves PSE&G Electric Vehicle Program: This week, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) on Wednesday approved an electric vehicle program from the state’s largest utility. Under the program, Public Service Electric & Gas Company will make investments to install thousands of electric vehicle chargers throughout the state, with the goal of supporting an increased adoption of electric cars.
PSE&G plans to spend $166.2 million over six years on the program, plus $39 million in costs related to operation and maintenance, to install up to 1,500 public fast chargers, up to 4,375 Level 2 chargers at workplaces, community locations and multiunit dwellings, and up to 44,000 residential chargers. The utility will not own any of the chargers but will support the infrastructure required to make the locations ready for the chargers. The program is expected to create about 270 jobs and help to avoid 14 million metric tons of carbon emissions through 2035.
First NJ Community Solar Project Completed: Today, Governor Murphy celebrated the completion of the state’s first community solar project – a partnership between New Jersey developer Solar Landscape and Duke Reality in Perth Amboy that will cover one million square feet of rooftop space and will generate 11.1 megawatts of clean electricity.
“Since day one, my Administration has been clear on our pursuit of an equitable and inclusive clean energy future for all New Jerseyans, said Murphy. The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is a smart and sustainable component of our clean energy future and positions New Jersey as a world leader in the innovation economy, while investing in communities and ensuring environmental justice for all.”
People on the move:
- Stanley Sworn-in to State Assembly: Two-term East Brunswick Councilman Sterley Stanley was sworn into office this week, to represent the 18th Legislative District in the New Jersey State Assembly. Stanley, a Democrat, is replacing former Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, who vacated the seat to become Middlesex County Clerk. Sterley is also the first legislator of South Asian descent to represent Middlesex County.
- Aronson tapped to lead Health Care Association of New Jersey: The Health Care Association of New Jersey has appointed Andrew Aronson, as its new President and CEO. HCANJ is the largest trade association representing New Jersey’s long-term care sector, which serves 60,000 residents and employs a diverse and vibrant workforce of 70,000 statewide. Aronson is a veteran New Jersey health care law attorney, who started his private law practice in 2000 after having served as both a Legal Specialist in Regulatory Affairs and the Director of Long-Term Care Licensing and Certification for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJHSS).
- White Heads to Biden Administration: Vinn White, a top transportation advisor to Governor Murphy, will be joining the Biden Administration as a top official on the leadership team of US Secretary of Transportation-designate Pete Buttigieg.
- Dudzinski Appointed by NJASCU: This week, the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) announced the appointment of Morganne Dudzinski as its associate director. Dudzinski comes to NJASCU from Monmouth University, where she previously served as the director of news and public affairs and university spokesperson.