In a separate video address, Murphy tried to ease fears of new sets of mandates and lockdowns that interrupted the state’s economic activity, inflicting financial pain on many and forcing them into unemployment benefits, some people getting them for the first time.
The powers allow the state to have a say in distributing vaccines, testing performance and a multitude of other measures, including the in-school mask mandate for K-12 students.
Murphy said those across the Garden State don’t need to worry about seeing any of 2020’s strictest measures.
“It does not mean going backward from any of the progress we’ve made together over the past 22 months,” Murphy said. “In fact, in your day-to-day life, this step won’t have any new impact at all.”
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On Jan. 1, Murphy requested that his pandemic-related powers be extended for an additional 90 days, expiring April 11.
Lawmakers in the Senate Health and Assembly Appropriations balked at the request, choosing instead to write a bill to extend them 45 days. On Monday, while the Senate was in its last session before reorganizing, Murphy said during a news conference that the state’s school mask mandate would continue, irking Republican senators, including Sens. Michael Testa, R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Holly Schepisi, R-Bergen, before the vote on the drafted bill.
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