North Jersey GOP Lawmakers Critical of Gov. Phil Murphy’s Use of Executive Orders

After Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced a new round of restrictions aimed at combating a steadily rising rate of COVID-19 infections in New Jersey, Republicans were quick to express displeasure, saying the governor is acting without merit.

As of Dec. 7, the state will reduce the number of people allowed to gather outdoors from 150 to 25 people. The state will also ban indoor youth and school sports from Dec. 5 through Jan. 2, 2021, Murphy announced Nov. 30.

The restrictions come a week after Murphy extended the state’s public health emergency declaration for a ninth time since his initial order on March 9, which grants him the power to issue executive actions.

Rule By Executive Order

Many of Murphy’s shutdown orders during the pandemic—from closing state parks last Spring to limiting restaurant capacity to vote-by-mail protocols—have been issued via executive order, with some codified as law by the along party lines.

Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-25) accused the governor in a press statement of “ruling by executive order, vetoing legislation that would help people and making unilateral decisions without providing the data or science he references.”

Bergen criticized Democrats for blocking efforts to advance a bill (A-4147/S-2482) that would require the legislature to approve executive orders within 14 days after the governor issues them. Another bill to make data on Murphy’s decisions available passed the Senate unanimously but has not been considered in the Assembly.

 “The legislature has resolved itself to being a governmental accessory in New Jersey,” said Bergen, who went on to refer to the Senate and Assembly as “useless.”

Legislature Must Play Role

Meanwhile, District 24 GOP Assemblyman Parker Space, Assemblyman Hal Wirths and State Sen. Steve Oroho blasted Democrats “for blocking attempts to end government by executive orders and restore legislative checks and balances.”

Oroho, a primary sponsor of S-2482, said, “Our constituents elected each member of the legislature to represent their interests in Trenton. This bill would restore that intended power and provide a check on the governor, who continues to make unilateral decisions that impact our everyday lives without input from the legislature.”

“As we approach the holiday season, and the governor announcing new restrictions with the looming threat of another shutdown, it’s critical that the legislature play a more active role and bring a more deliberative approach when considering the impact of further restrictions on our economy and personal freedoms,” Oroho said.

Work To Flatten Curve

Murphy’s newly-announced restrictions come as New Jersey battles a second wave of the outbreak. As of Dec. 2, there are 346,206 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17,145 virus-related deaths in the Garden State.

The governor denied rumors about an impending statewide shutdown because he believes New Jersey is in a better position compared to last spring “when we had to take drastic actions to save lives.”

According to Murphy, New Jersey now has increased testing capabilities, a stockpile of personal protection equipment and ventilators, more knowledge of the virus itself and a vaccine timeline that includes the state receiving resources in mid-December.

“As we come out of the long Thanksgiving weekend and turn our gaze to the December holidays, we must remember that this virus is not done with us,” said Murphy. “Let’s redouble our efforts and end the year by crushing the curve a second time, so we can look forward to a better 2021.”


  1. If only

    If only people listened and followed the guidelines set forth by the CDC and Governor Murphy we wouldn’t be having this spike and an increase in deaths in New Jersey.

    If only legislators made a bipartisan effort to support the Governor,
    Instead of criticizing him he wouldn’t need to use executive power to do the right thing.

    If only Assemblyman
    Bergen walked a mile in Governor Murphy’s shoes he would want to help instead of hindering His effort to contain this spike, lower the rate of infection, and the death rate in this State.

    1. Agree.
      This should never have become a political issue. This involves public health & should be treated as such. I find it disturbing to see Americans have become so selfish, indifferent & self centered during this pandemic. It truly didn’t have to be this way.
      The cult like science deniers who are outraged by being asked to wear a damn mask, would have been blasted for their un-American behavior during WWII. Nobody’s being asked to deploy to war, ration food, gas, oil & metals. Nobody’s being issued coupon books as was the case during WWII. I recall hearing about my grandparents who prior to the war, had whitewashed their brown tudor style home in NY being told they needed to change it as it was felt to be a target for potential war planes at night.
      I’m a former nursing manager whose daughter & son in law are both physicians risking their lives since March in their respective hospitals. I resent these NJ representatives politicizing medical & science based actions by Governor Murphy. We don’t have a supply of excess medical professionals & healthcare workers to replace those who are getting sick, dying & burning out. They face death every day unlike our elected officials. I fear more for their lives than my Blackhawk Pilot deployed son & his fellow military troops.
      How about joining together, supporting the efforts to do whatever is necessary to survive this pandemic. How about asking your fellow Congressional GOP to do their part. We should all be rallying to save lives. This is especially important since we’ve had zero federal policies, leadership or examples since the start.
      Wear a damn mask, stay home unless absolutely necessary & stop whining. Set real examples for your children & grandchildren. We’re not even close to the worst of this pandemic. Getting through the next 4 months is only possible if everyone does their part. This isn’t a drill.

  2. I am a constituent here in bergen county and I am very upset. I am 73 yrs old and expecting to have surgery soon. I have had surgery last year 2019. I have advanced arthritis, and also other maladies. All I hear about is how the teachers are getting their vaccines next. I am nautious over this. some of the teachers arent even in their classrooms. furthermore, we senior citizens are the vulnerable population. I am a widow who lives alone. I cannot run out to the store when I want and if I had the vaccine then I would go out to the grocery store when able. You are taking away independence by curtailing to the NJEA. murphy isnt fooling anyone. they are the biggest union in NJ and he plans to run again. Well, if this disgusting thing of putting young teachers first who arent even in the classroom 100% then I for one will not vote democratic governor. I also want to point out that since the teachers have contracts, how are they being paid for being on zoom for a half of day? It is bad enough that the taxes for schools are 2/3 of our bill. why not make the districts minus so many administrators. this is truly upsetting. Maybe gov murphy should go back to germany as a liason. He might make an impression there! Mrs. Diane Albarella

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.