Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Introduce Bill to Compensate Businesses for Public Health Emergency Closures

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Introduce Bill to Compensate Businesses for Public Health Emergency Closures

Say Middle-Class Families Suffering While Gov. Murphy’s Arbitrary Orders Killing Businesses & Jobs

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) have introduced legislation that would allow for businesses that have incurred losses due to closures ordered by Governor Phil Murphy to seek compensation from the State.

“Small businesses that employ the majority of New Jerseyans have taken an unbearable hit as a result of the severe restrictions and closures ordered by Governor Murphy since March,” said Holzapfel. “We think they deserve to be compensated for the losses they have incurred while complying with the governor’s arbitrary and ineffective executive orders.”

The new legislation (S-3060/A-4849) by the 10th District legislators provides that the closure of a business due to an order declaring a public health emergency is a public purpose for which the State may have to pay the business owner just compensation.

“New Jerseyans have been subjected to extreme restrictions and lockdown orders from Governor Murphy without any proof that it has done any good from a public health perspective,” said McGuckin. “Meanwhile, the economic harm of his orders has been substantial, with nearly 2 million New Jerseyans filing for unemployment. Our legislation would help more of our small businesses and the millions of employees and families they support to survive this crisis.”

Under the terms of the legislation, the owner of a business may bring an action to compel the State to exercise condemnation and to pay just compensation for either:

  • loss of income during, and for a reasonable time after, a temporary partial or complete closure of the business, if the business would not have closed but for compliance with the order; or
  • loss of going concern, including the loss of real property, if the closure of the business results in the owner going out of business and the owner proves the owner would not have gone out of business but for compliance with the order.

Over the weekend, Republican leadership in the New Jersey Legislature called for a special legislative session to be held immediately to approve emergency assistance for small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling as a result of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in the Senate and General Assembly are focusing their efforts on how much to tax marijuana and fighting over how to divvy up the proceeds among a handful of urban centers they represent.

“While Trenton Democrats are fighting over marijuana money, Republicans in the Legislature are fighting for middle-class families that don’t know how they’ll survive a new set of lockdown orders,” added Catalano. “The contrast in priorities couldn’t be clearer. We believe the Legislature should hold a special session to pass small business relief, including our new legislation, immediately.”

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