The New Jersey Business & Industry Association is testifying today in strong support of a bill that will direct Gov. Phil Murphy to develop and implement a county-based mitigation plan to allow businesses to operate during a pandemic.
Citing specific regional reopening approaches currently applied in New York and Pennsylvania in testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz said the intent of bill S-3093 is to move New Jersey away from its one-size-fits-all model to benefit areas of the state less impacted by COVID-19.
“The entire economy and all of our tax revenue would not have to suffer as much with this scalpel approach instead of a blunter statewide edict, while public health will still be appropriately protected where necessary,” Emigholz said.
NJBIA has been advocating for a regional approach to safe reopenings since the summer, when the coronavirus curve had flattened, but statewide restrictions remained.
Gov. Murphy has previously ruled out a regional approach to reopening the economy as it related to business, but later acknowledged the value of a regional approach for the reopening of schools in the fall.
In his testimony, Emigholz also said the bill, sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D11) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D3), would bring transparency, predictability and hope to New Jersey businesses through more data.
“To run a business, you need a plan, and it is hard to plan under the constant threat of unpredictable and unilateral restrictions from state government,” Emigholz said. “This improved data usage available to all could eliminate a repeat of what happened last July 4th weekend, when a last-minute reversal forced many restaurants to waste resources for a planned reopening that never happened.”
To see Emigholz’s full written testimony, click here.