Volume 12 Issue 12 - Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Governor, Senate President & Speaker Announce Intention to End COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Murphy Orders a Return to in-Person School in September and James P. Fox Memorial Fund supports Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship Internship and State Revenue could be Increased by ‘hundreds of millions

Governor, Senate President & Speaker Announce Intention to End COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Last week, Governor Murphy began working with Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in place since March 2020, while also ensuring that the administration retains necessary tools to manage the ongoing threat to public health, as well as recovery and vaccination efforts.

The Public Health Emergency was initially declared on March 9, 2020 through executive Order No. 103. Last week, Murphy signed Executive Order No. 240, which extends the public health emergency for another 30-day period, ending in mid-June. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. If legislation is finalized ahead of the renewal date, the Public Health Emergency will be allowed to expire.

“After an extremely difficult year, we are seeing the results of our mitigation efforts and our successful vaccination program, said Governor Murphy. Our Administration is working closely with Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin on legislation that will allow the public health emergency to expire but ensure that we have the necessary tools and flexibility to continue to fight against the pandemic, including vaccination efforts that are our highest priority. By working together, we are confident that we can move to the next phase of our recovery effort.”

Murphy Orders a Return to in-Person School in September: This week, Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey students will return to full-time, in-person learning this fall. The Governor’s August executive order which allows schools to rely on remote education is set to expire at the end of this school year.

As of May 10, only 13 New Jersey school districts (out of more than 800 districts, charter schools, and special education schools) were still implementing all-remote learning. While 338 districts all fully open for full-time, in-person learning, 416 are using hybrid instruction, a combination or remote and in-person learning.

James P. Fox Memorial Fund supports Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship Internship: Through the generosity of the James P. Fox Memorial Fund, two Rowan University students will receive scholarships to support unpaid internships in politics, government or issue advocacy this summer.  The program is designed to help break a cycle where young people without the financial means to take unpaid internships struggle to get their first public service experience.

The students, who will be known as Fox Scholars, will secure the internships and scholarships through the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC). The Fox Memorial Fund will provide each intern a $2,500 scholarship.

“The need for a paid summer job prevents many students and recent graduates from taking an unpaid internship and building the experience and relationships necessary to enter public service. We want to break that cycle through this scholarship, by allowing students without the economic means to take an unpaid internship a chance to do so. Jamie was all about helping young people enter public service and, through this partnership, we will open up public service to economically challenged students,” said Fund Trustee Eric Shuffler.

The James P. Fox Memorial Fund was founded in 2017 to create a living legacy to honor Jamie Fox in recognition of his lifelong commitment to public service and his commitment to opening up the doors of public service to young people. Fox, who passed away in 2017 at age 62, spent his entire life in the public sector and was one of the giants of New Jersey politics.

For more information about RIPPAC and the James P. Fox Memorial Scholarship, visit go.rowan.edu/RIPPAC.

State Revenue could be Increased by ‘hundreds of millions”: New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said while the final payments for some of New Jersey’s largest sources of tax revenue are still being counted, budget forecasts could soon be increased by “hundreds of millions of dollars,” the state treasurer told lawmakers Monday.

“All in all, the revenue outlook for the remainder of the current fiscal year and going into (fiscal year 2022) is positive and improving,” Muoio told members of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Last year, the Murphy administration made a series of grim revenue projections during the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic when much of the economy was largely shut down as a public-health precaution.