Tag Archives: Governor Murphy

COVID-19: Counties and Municipalities in NJ are now permitted to establish curfews for Non-Essential Businesses

Earlier today, November 12, 2020, Governor Murphy executed an Executive Order allowing municipalities and counties the option to impose curfews on all non-essential businesses as early as 8:00 p.m. Municipalities and counties do not have to impose restrictions, but they will now have the power to do so if they choose.

In his press briefing, the Governor advised that other municipality or county actions such as: restrictions on essential businesses, full business closures, or restrictions on gatherings and capacity that differ from the statewide rules are “impermissible and will be invalidated.”

Per our earlier reporting, a closure requirement for all bars, restaurants and clubs at 10 PM until 5:00 AM goes into effect today and all bar side seating is prohibited.

Per reporting from NJ Biz, Gov. Murphy additionally announced that New Jersey was chosen by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services as one of the first states to receive CUE Health’s molecular rapid test. He said that the test has shown to produce results with 99% accuracy in approximately 20 minutes.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Paul Josephson, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe. 

COVID-19: NJ Announces $60M of Additional Covid-Relief Small Business Grants

On November 11, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a commitment of at least $60 Million in additional relief grants under Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBEAG).

This funding is in addition to $70 M of funds already allocated for the current phase of the SBEAG program and will enable the NJEDA to fulfill grants for the entire pipeline of eligible businesses that applied for Phase 3 funding prior to the application deadline.

Without this additional funding, approximately 13,000 of the nearly 22,000 businesses that applied for Phase 3 grants would have been denied a grant given the amount of interest in the program.

Per NJ Business Today, the NJEDA’s suite of COVID-19 relief programs provides a variety of resources for businesses of all sizes, including grants for small businesses, zero-interest loans, support for private-sector lenders and CDFIs, and funding for entrepreneurs.

One of NJEDA’s relief programs is the SBEAG, which provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

To attempt to achieve an equitable distribution of funds, the NJEDA set aside 1/3 of the funding for this program to support qualified businesses located in NJ Opportunity Zones. The goal of this new round of allocations is to help minority and women-owned businesses obtain some of the available grant funds.

According to NJ Business Today, more than 22,000 small businesses have been approved for grants worth more than $64.9 million through Phases 1 and 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The average grant award has been roughly $3,000, which indicates the average approved business has three full-time equivalent employees.

Phase 3 significantly expands eligibility for the Grant Program and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive.

Eligibility – Any business or non-profit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3, including businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program.

Opportunity Zone Set Asides – To ensure funding goes to businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, Phase 3 sets aside funding for restaurants, micro-businesses, and businesses based in the state’s 715 Opportunity Zone-eligible Census tracts.

To date over $250 M of funding from NJEDA has been allocated to support small businesses with a significant focus being on restaurants, micro-businesses, and minority- and women-owned firms.

In addition to the SBEAG Program, the NJEDA administers a variety of technical assistance and low-cost financing programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19.

More information about NJEDA’s programs and other State support is available at https://covid19.nj.gov.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Paul Josephson, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe. 

 

COVID-19: NJ Announces Additional COVID-19 related Restrictions – Restricting Indoor Food service after 10 PM and Indoor Sports

As of this morning, November 9, 2020, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy is set to follow through on his weekend commentary to impose new COVID-19 related restrictions given NJ’s continued increasing COVID-19 numerics.

Per NJBIZ, the Murphy administration has indicated that bars and restaurants will soon need to close all indoor service by 10 p.m. Interstate indoor organized sports will also be prohibited indefinitely, according to sources in the Murphy administration.

The Governor will announce the restrictions, and provide additional details, during his 1 p.m. news conference.

Specifically, restaurants, casinos and bars will be prohibited from serving food and alcohol between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and these new rules will take effect on November 12, 2020. Restrictions will also be placed on seating.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Paul Josephson, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

 

 

NJ Announces Styrofoam Container, Paper and Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

Earlier today, November 4, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that bans Styrofoam containers, and paper and single-use plastic bags over the upcoming years.

Starting in May 2022, businesses such as restaurants, convenience stores, food trucks, movie theaters and grocery stores occupying at least 2,500 square feet are prohibited from giving out polystyrene containers and plastic and paper bags.

And beginning in November 2021, straws can only be given to customers who request them.

Exemptions apply to bags used for wrapping raw meat; Styrofoam butcher trays; bags used for loose produce; those that hold fish and insects from pet stores; and bags for prescription drugs, newspapers and dry-cleaning.

Per the NJBIA, the bill also aims to encourage carryout reusable bags, be it those made of polypropylene, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp products, or other machine-washable fabric.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection can grant a one-year waiver to the Styrofoam ban if a business has no “feasible and commercially available alternative,” or if it makes less than $500,000 in yearly gross income.

The measure also allocates $500,000 to the NJDEP for a program to provide free, reusable bags throughout the state. And, to see the state create a Plastics Advisory Council within the NJDEP to gauge the effectiveness of the new restrictions.

Duane Morris has a robust group of transactional and environmental lawyers available to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. If you have any questions about this post or if we can be of assistance, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Lori Mills, Seth Cooley, Phil Cha, Lindsay Ann Brown or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ revises COVID Guidance for Public Gatherings – Self Service Food, Indoor Malls, Athletic Events and Private Tutoring Facilities

On October 31, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy and the head of the New Jersey State Police modified certain restrictions on businesses and public gatherings in New Jersey. The modifications are set forth in Administrative Order 2020-22 (the “AO”).

Key topics include the prohibition of self service food such as buffets and salad bars ; the allowance of indoor shopping mall vending machine and stroller rentals but prohibiting valet and play areas; the loosing of how we count maximum gatherings for athletic competition; and the allowance of private tutoring facilities to reopen for students and clients.

1.  Self-service FoodSelf service food such as buffets and salad bars are prohibited at retail businesses, like grocery stores, under the AO.  Note that self-service drinks are still permitted, but only if they are routinely and effectively cleaned and sanitized.

2.  Indoor Shopping Malls:

  • Vending machines and stroller rentals are now permitted to be operated at malls as long as they are sanitized, but playgrounds and valet parking must remain closed.
  • Valet Parking and communal play areas are NOT permitted at indoor malls

3.  Athletic events (including those for professional sports and collegiate athletic competitions) are still subject to Executive Orders 161 and 183 but, the AO confirms that athletes, coaches, referees, trainers and other individuals necessary to the performance of a competitive sporting event are NOT included in the number of individuals for gathering limits purposes.

For indoor athletic competitions, the amount of people permitted in such venues is capped at 150 people or 25% of the room’s capacity, whichever is lower.

Masks are required to be worn by spectators and non-athletes at both indoor and outdoor venues (except if under 2 years of age, where it is impracticable for an individual to wear a masks (such as when eating or drinking) or when doing so would violate Federal or State law.

4.  Private Tutoring Facilities: Private tutoring facilities may reopen for students and other clients.

For a copy of the Administrative Order No. 2020-22 –  please see https://d31hzlhk6di2h5.cloudfront.net/20201031/63/af/39/ad/30c4bf2e846cbe2de8b48b61/AO_2020-22.pdf

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Paul Josephson, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ announces COVID centric private employer work safety rules effective November 6, 2020

Pursuant to a new executive order, the Murphy administration is setting up statewide COVID-19 safety standards for private sector employers, and a means to enforce those rules.

Under the order Gov. Phil Murphy signed earlier today, 10-28-2020, which goes into effect at 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 6th, the state has set up will set up a compliance regime with a collection of mandatory COVID-19 reopening protocols, and the means to go after non-compliant employers.

Per NJBIZ, at a minimum, workers have to undergo health screenings at the start of every shift, while everyone present at the workplace has to remain socially distanced. Employees must be made aware if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 at the workplace.

Employees have to wear a mask, provided at the expense of the business owner, who would also supply sanitizing materials to customers and workers at their own expense. High-touch areas must be routinely cleaned and disinfected, while employees must be provided hand-washing breaks throughout the day.

The Murphy administration included similar rules for large-scale business re-openings, like sanitization, face mask usage, 6-foot physical distancing, staggered shifts to avoid overcrowding, protocols for quarantining COVID-positive workers, and how to screen potentially infected employees.

But without a state-level system of private sector enforcement, it has been reported that many workers continued to feel at risk.

To date, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has only put out voluntary guidance for individual states, rather than strict mandates.

Under the Executive Order, the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development will be required to create a system to investigate a lack of compliance and pursue enforcement actions.

The rules are expected to include a system where employees can submit complaints.

State health and labor officials will be authorized to perform workplace inspections, issue subpoenas and interview both workers and their employers.

The two departments would jointly create a system to aid business owners in complying with the rules. Moreover, the labor department would create worksite notices and materials for both workers and business owners.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Caroline Austin, Danielle Dyer, Elizabeth Mincer, Kathy O’Malley, Matthew LoBello or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

NJ enacts broad sweeping Environmental Justice Bill – S232 – ESG Focused

On September 18, Governor Murphy signed into law S232 / A2212 (Singleton / Weinberg / Ruiz / McKeon / Vainieri Huttle / Timberlake), which requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to consider the cumulative impacts of locating new power plants or major manufacturing facilities in certain lower-income areas.

Per the press release announcing the Bill signing, S2322 is intended to tackle the complex issue of assuring a healthy environment in certain urban communities.

The Bill requires the NJDEP to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require mandatory permit denials if an environmental justice analysis determines a new facility will have a disproportionately negative impact on overburdened communities.
 
The bill defines an overburdened community as any community where 35% of the households qualify as low-income according to the U.S. Census, 40% of households are minority, or 40%of households have limited English proficiency. There are approximately 310 municipalities with populations totaling approximately 4,489,000 that have overburdened communities within their municipalities.
 
The Bill requires the DEP to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of the following facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing the following permit applications:
  1. Major sources of air pollution (i.e., gas fired power plants and cogeneration facilities);
  2. Resource recovery facilities or incinerators; sludge processing facilities;
  3. Sewage treatment plants with a capacity of more than 50 Million gallons per day;
  4. Transfer stations or solid waste facilities;
  5. Recycling facilities that receive at least 100 tons of recyclable material per day;
  6. Scrap metal facilities;
  7. Landfills; and
  8. Medical waste incinerators, except those attendant to hospitals and universities.
“For decades, residents living in overburdened communities have had their lives routinely and inconveniently interrupted by the toxic facilities located in their neighborhoods,”  said Senator Troy Singleton. “Their daily routines have been intertwined with the unpleasant smells of industry, unsightly smoke from pollution, and untimely visits to the emergency room for asthma and other respiratory ailments. Now, after years of having no say, these communities will finally have a voice in the siting of these industries. After years of waiting for action, this long overdue law will bring them the environmental justice that they deserve.” 
 
“As a statewide and regional hub of industry, commerce, innovation and energy, the impact of the legacy of environmental contamination is real and present in New Jersey. This historic legislation is a model to show the rest of the Country how to ensure that communities are protected and how by utilizing both activism and leadership simultaneously, you can truly change the status quo,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka, City of Newark. “I applaud the leadership of our State policymakers for making this law come to fruition, and we give our thanks to Governor Murphy for making environmental justice central to his administration.”
 
To read the text of the Governor’s press release – click here  https://t.e2ma.net/message/z8iqpd/rq338ni
 

Duane Morris has an Environmental Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to and address their environmental contracting, due diligence, compliance and permitting issues. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Lori Mills, Seth Cooley, Lindsay Ann Brown or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ Continues Moves to Re-Open, increasing Permitted Gathering Numbers

On June 9th, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy lifted New Jersey’s stay-at-home order and will allow for bigger social gatherings.

– Indoor Gatherings – the limit on indoor gatherings was raised to 25% of capacity or 50 people total; people are required to wear face coverings for these indoor gatherings

– Outdoor Gatherings – the limit on outdoor gatherings was raised from 25 to 100; furthermore, the limit on outdoor gatherings will rise to 250 on June 22nd and 500 on July 3rd

The increase to 500 on July 3rd is intended to permit outdoor graduations to resume in July, as long as fewer than 500 people are gathered together outside.

Exceptions will be granted for outdoor religious services and First Amendment activities, such as protests.

All outdoor recreational and entertainment may resume except for amusement parks, water parks and arcades.

Governor Murphy also announced on the 8th that pools will be permitted to reopen per announced schedules.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: NJ continues Reopening Program permitting additional Outdoor Activities and Businesses to Open on Friday 5-22-20 – Executive Order 147

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 147 (“EO”), allowing certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs as well as community gardens to open with required social distancing measures in place. The EO takes effect on Friday, May 22 at 6:00 a.m.

Outdoor Recreational Businesses: To limit physical interactions, the EO requires outdoor recreational businesses that reopen to limit capacity to 10 people at one time and implement reasonable restrictions that include:

• Using electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
• Prohibiting impermissible gatherings;
• Installing physical barriers between employees and customers;
• Limiting the use of equipment to one person;
• Implementing social distancing measures in commonly used areas, including demarcation and signage;
• Infection control and hygiene practices;
• Providing sanitization materials to employees;
• Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas; and
• Limiting occupancy of restrooms.

Community Gardens: Governor Murphy’s EO permits community gardens to reopen so long as they comply with the same restrictions implemented at parks under Executive Order No. 133.

All-Terrain Vehicle and Dirt Bike Rental Businesses: The Order allows all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to reopen to the public for “curb-side” pickup. Such businesses must comply with the same restrictions required for non-essential retail businesses.

Golf Courses: The EO relaxes four of the restrictions on golf courses, allowing them to expand tee-times to four players, allow the use of forecaddies, offer club and equipment rentals, and reopen restrooms with disinfecting and hygiene protocols in place.

The EO also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while in public settings at outdoor recreational businesses and community gardens when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The EO further clarifies that amusements parks and arcades, and other places of public amusement located at these businesses remain closed, including places of public amusement that are located at a place otherwise authorized to be open by any executive order issued after March 21, 2020, such as a boardwalk.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Gov signs 4 New Bills into law – continuing to open more businesses throughout the state – Mixed Drinks; Water Craft; Hospital Visitations; Local Government Meetings

Governor Murphy announced that he’s signed 4 new bills into law that allow more New Jersey businesses to reopen.

Fishing – fishing charters and watercraft rentals are permitted to reopen at 6 a.m on Sunday, May 17th.

Under the bill, charter boats and watercraft rentals are permitted to resume operations as long as social distancing is observed, sanitation is maintained, online payments systems are set up and passenger and customer logs are preserved for the purposes of contact tracing.

Alcohol – authorized the sale and delivery of mixed drinks.

Bill A3966 which was signed into law permits hotels, motels, bars and restaurants to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages and mixed cocktails in original containers or in closed and sealed containers. The bill also allows craft distillery licensees to sell for consumption.

Governor Murphy also signed these bills into law:

A-3942/S-2394 (Mukherji, Vainieri Huttle, Pintor Marin/Greenstein, Stack) – Requires hospital to permit individual to accompany woman during childbirth.

A-3969/S-2392 (Danielsen, Mukherji, Verrelli/Sarlo) – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements.

S-2344/A-3970 (Pou, Singer, Vitale/Reynolds-Jackson, Quijano, Zwicker) – Requires Medicaid and health insurance coverage for certain refills of prescription drugs during state of emergency.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg. Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!