The fifteen members of the New Jersey Senate Republican caucus have sent a letter to Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin asking them to schedule votes in both houses of the Legislature as they hope to override a bill Governor Phil Murphy vetoed (A-4525) which would help save New Jersey’s struggling restaurant industry.

The bill, which had bipartisan support, was given the boot on Monday by Governor Murphy.

It's legislation that would help restaurants expand food and beverage services to include outdoor accommodations.

Since March, it's been a major struggle for restaurants to stay afloat due to the pandemic and then tight restrictions put in place by Governor Murphy cutting down on the amount of customers or diners allowed inside as well as inserting rules that is costing these businesses a fortune to pay for on top of trying to serve as many people as possible to pay their bills and personal bills.

Murphy, in a statement, said in part that he could not support the measure because he believes it duplicates already existing bills and measures as well as limit a municipality from inserting rules and regulations of their own.

So, the 15 members of the State Senate Republican caucus decided they needed to act again to help restaurants.

Here is the letter they wrote which includes Ocean County Senator Jim Holzapfel, Ocean County Senator Chris Connors, Ocean/Monmouth County Senator Robert Singer and Monmouth County Senator Declan O'Scanlon.

Dear President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin,

We write to urge you to schedule votes to override Governor Murphy’s veto of legislation, A-4525, that was intended to help restaurants, bars, and breweries to survive the economic harm caused by nearly a year of indoor dining restrictions due to COVID-19.

At no time during the months the bill was under consideration did Governor Murphy express concerns with the bipartisan legislation, which passed through both houses of the Legislature without a single dissenting vote.

This legislation is a measured and temporary response to help struggling establishments in all our communities to remain viable by allowing expanded food and beverage service to outdoor spaces they own or lease, including patios, decks, yards, walkways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

We have been warned by representatives of the restaurant industry and operators of local establishments that many restaurants, bars, and breweries are on the brink of closing. They simply cannot make enough to pay their bills under current limitations.

Governor Murphy’s inaction on other fronts to support small businesses, including restaurants, makes the override of his veto of A-4525 all the more urgent. We urge you to schedule override votes in both chambers as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Thomas Kean
Leader

Joe Pennacchio
Whip

Kristin Corrado
Conference Leader

Kip Bateman
Deputy Whip

Robert Singer
Deputy Leader

Chris Brown
Deputy Conference Leader

Steven Oroho
Budget Officer

Anthony M. Bucco
Senator – District 25

Gerald Cardinale
Senator – District 39

Christopher Connors
Senator – District 9

Michael Doherty
Senator – District 23

James Holzapfel
Senator – District 10

Declan O’Scanlon
Senator – District 13

Michael Testa
Senator – District 1

Samuel Thompson
Senator – District 12

Previous reporting by Patrick Lavery was used in this article.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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