Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Withdrawing Bill as Lockdowns Ease
Say Jersey Shore Needs to Reopen as Quickly as Possible
Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, and Assemblyman John Catalano (all R-10) announced they are withdrawing legislation that would increase fines for hosting gatherings in violation of lockdown orders related to the public health emergency:
“The purpose of the strict lockdown was always to defeat COVID-19 quickly and to allow for the reopening of New Jersey in the shortest period of time possible with the least harm to people’s health and our economy. We introduced our legislation at the start of the crisis due to a lack of leadership from Governor Murphy when it came to enforcement as evidenced by number or coronavirus parties and similar events that threatened to prolong the public health emergency unnecessarily.
“As legislators, we cannot control how the law is enforced by the governor or the agencies he directs, but we can change the law to encourage people to act responsibly through the deterrent effect of higher penalties. Thankfully, enforcement was stepped up and the types of gatherings where COVID-19 could be spread were greatly limited. Because of this, all of the key metrics on infection rates, hospitalizations, and fatalities due to the coronavirus have declined quickly, which has led to the easing of lockdown measures. We are glad to say that our legislation is no longer necessary and will be withdrawn.
“It’s been our number one priority to get the Jersey Shore fully reopened as quickly as possible. We are glad that life is starting to resume and businesses are starting to reopen, but we won’t be happy until everything is back to normal.”