READ IT: Assemblyman’s bill would make Murphy seek legislative approval for emergency orders lasting logner than 2 weeks

TRENTON, N.J. – Last week we told you about Assembly Brian Bergen’s proposal to curb Phil Murphy’s emergency powers. He’s now released the actual text; if adopted, the governor would need to seek legislative approval if he wants to extend an emergency order beyond 14 days. At the moment? Murphy can continue issuing executive orders at will and extend them without seeking legislative assent.

“The governor’s ability to unilaterally impose restrictions on the freedoms of our citizens cannot go unchecked,” Bergen tweeted on Thursday. “My new legislation prevents this from EVER happening again.”

Here’s the text:

AN ACT concerning the issuance of certain orders, rules, and regulations during a state of emergency and supplementing P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A.9-33 et seq.).

BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. a. Any order, rule, or regulation issued by the Governor pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-33 et seq.) shall terminate on the 15th day after issuance, unless approved for a greater period by the Legislature pursuant to concurrent resolution. The Governor shall not issue, for the same emergency, an order, rule, or regulation to the same or substantially same effect as one terminated pursuant to this subsection.

b. This section shall not apply to any order, rule, or regulation:

(1) rescinding an order, rule, or regulation issued pursuant toP.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-33 et seq.);

(2) issued pursuant to direction by or agreement with the federal government, in compliance with federal law, or such that application of this section would jeopardize the receipt of federal funds by this State;

(3) applying exclusively to any or all of the executive and administrative offices, departments, and instrumentalities of the State government;

(4) issued under the authority of the Governor as the Commander-in-Chief of all the military and naval forces of the State; or

(5) issued pursuant to a provision of law providing for a greater period.

2. This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

This bill provides that any order, rule, or regulation issued by the Governor pursuant to the “Civil Defense and Disaster Control Act” will terminate on the 15th day after issuance, unless the Legislature approves a greater period of time by way of concurrent resolution.

The bill prohibits the Governor from issuing an order, rule, or regulation to the same or substantially same effect as one terminated pursuant to the bill for the same emergency. 

The bill does not apply to orders, rules, or regulations:

(1) rescinding an order, rule, or regulation issued pursuant to the “Civil Defense and Disaster Control Act”;

(2) issued pursuant to direction by or agreement with the federal government, in compliance with federal law, or to the extent that application of the bill would jeopardize the receipt of federal funds by the State;

(3) applying exclusively to the executive branch;

(4) issued under the Governor’s authority as the Commander-in-Chief of the military and naval forces of the State; or

(5) issued pursuant to a provision of law providing for a greater period.

Limits to 14 days effective period of certain emergency orders, rules, or regulations.