Democrats shut Down Webber Challenge to Murphy’s State Park Shutdown

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) this evening tried and failed to get the New Jersey Assembly behind him to challenge Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order to shut down state parks as part of his COVID-19 combat plan.


Democrats successfully resisted Webber’s effort when Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) moved to table the Morris Republican’s motion to have Murphy rescind the order.

“We’re trying to cooperate,” Webber said. “The governor is making thousands of decisions a day but he is entitled to make a mistake.”

Executive Order 118 is a mistake, the Morris-based assemblyman submitted.

“We’re not asking for parks to be open without restrictions,” he explained. “We’re asking for a common sense policy on parks and forests.”

Parks and forests in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware remain open.

“New York is reducing fees because it wants their residents to get out and get fresh air,” said Webber, who noted the benefits to people of getting out in the sunshine.

He said he had harvested over 10,000 signatures that came together in less than a week.

“We have more than half a million acres in our state,” said the Republican. “It simply can’t be that the safest number of residents is zero. There has to be a number between zero and nine million. I’m asking the legislature to reach out to our governor. Maybe we ban non-New Jerseyans from using our parks, but to ban them altogether seems an unreasonable solution.”

Greenwald rose to table the motion.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) rose to second.

Coughlin went to a roll call vote, after a virtual voice vote resulted in chaos, and the motion prevailed mostly on party lines.

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