Freehold Township officials support bill limiting Gov.’s power

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The members of the governing body in Freehold Township have voiced support for a New Jersey Senate bill that opposes the extension of a governor’s executive orders.

On Feb. 22, Township Committee members passed a resolution which supports a bill that would, if enacted into law, limit the duration of states of emergency and public health emergencies declared by the governor to 60 days unless an extension is authorized by the Legislature.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) is a co-sponsor. Gopal represents Freehold Township in the Senate.

The resolution states that Gopal’s support of the legislation “demonstrates bipartisan agreement that the governor has been and currently is abusing emergency powers without legislative oversight.”

As stated in the resolution, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a public health emergency in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Murphy signed legislation and an executive order ending the public health emergency in June 2021.

According to the resolution, the Legislature granted Murphy the authority to continue certain emergency powers until Jan. 11, 2022. After that date, Murphy would have to request a 90-day extension of the emergency powers from the Legislature.

The resolution states that after the Legislature refused a request for a 90-day-extension, Murphy announced on Jan. 12 that he was reinstating a statewide public health emergency.

The Township Committee said Murphy ignored the will of the Legislature and has the ability to continue statewide mandates without checks and balances as required under the New Jersey Constitution.

Murphy has issued more than 200 executive orders relating to the pandemic, according to the resolution.

“The Township Committee in Freehold Township believes it is time to return to the regular order of government in the state of New Jersey,” the resolution states.