The Assembly will pass and the Governor Phil Murphy is expected to sign as early as this Wednesday a bill already backed in the state senate that prohibits anyone engaging in investment activity in Russia or Belarus from contracting with state agencies.
The bill essentially creates a government no-fly zone blocking Russian businessmen and their state-connected business interests.
“If a contractor gets bought out by a Russian oligarch, that entity will no longer be able to bid on public work,” said state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), who sponsored the senate version of the bill.
Sarlo said he takes pride in his expectation of New Jersey assuming position as the first state in the nation with such measures in place. On the floor of the senate when he introduced the bill, Sarlo recounted watching the news in horror as Russia invaded Ukraine.
“The night of the invasion I was downstairs in awe of how this thing was playing out on TV,” Sarlo later told InsiderNJ.
The senator from Wood-ridge said it was 3 a.m. and he began jotting down notes toward the bill to punish Russia-connected dirty money business entities in New Jersey.
On orders from President Vladimir Putin, Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. Faced with resistance from the Ukrainian people, Putin subsequently ordered the intensification of attacks.
“Millions of lives could be destroyed to slake Vladimir Putin’s Cold War obsession. Less than three weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — a historic outrage 30 years in the making — the world is looking on in horror at the barbarity, human tragedy, appalling destruction and worldwide reverberations sparked by one man’s orders.”
Sarlo said New Jersey can do more.
“One area where we could go further but we need to examine the accompanying federal component – is to basically boycott any gas station that takes in Russian oil,” the senator said. “That’s where the next step could be.”