town-crier_facebookIn just a little more than one full week since being sworn in as Governor, Phil Murphy has issued five executive orders (EO).  This may seem like a lot in a short amount of time but it pales in comparison to the eight EOs issued by Governor Christie on his first full day in office.  We informed our members last week about the first two executive orders – which can be found, here.  Below, is a short summary of the four EO’s issued since then.

EO-3: Audit of State’s Tax Incentives Program

In this EO, Governor Murphy has ordered the State Comptroller to conduct a complete performance audit of the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, from 2010 onward.  The target completion date is December 31, 2018.  The audit is to examine and provide information on:

  • the actual benefits realized from the programs including, the number of new jobs created;
  • the types of jobs that have been created, including salaries, wages, benefit levels and the locations of these jobs throughout the state;
  • the examination of the application process for awarding tax incentives under the programs, including costs associated with administering the programs.

EO-4: Access to Affordable Health Care       

EO-4 takes aim at the recent drop in New Jerseyans signing up for health care through the Federal marketplace and is intended to increase awareness of the opportunity to receive affordable healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.  To achieve this goal EO-4 requires all state agencies that regularly interact with the public to undertake reasonable measures to provide information to the public regarding the Affordable Care Act.  The EO does not create any new requirements or mandates on local governments.

EO-5: Comprehensive Audit of NJ Transit

This EO orders the Commissioner of Transportation to perform a comprehensive review of the operations of NJ Transit.  This includes reviewing; the current source of funding, leadership structure, personnel matters, and customer satisfaction.  While there is no specific deadline for this review to be completed the EO calls for the review to be conducted as expeditiously as possible.

EO-6: Mandating a Review of NJ’s Medical Marijuana Policy

EO-6 orders the Department of Health and the Board of Medical examiners to undertake a review of all aspects of NJ’s medical marijuana program.  The purpose of the EO is to expand the number of residents with access to medical marijuana.  Among other things, an evaluation of the current rules regulating the operations and siting of dispensaries and cultivation facilities is to be examined, focusing on whether rules should be revised to remove unwarranted obstructions to expansion.  This has the potential to impact municipalities as currently, local zoning approval is required before a license can be issued to a medical marijuana dispensary.  There is the possibility, however misguided it may be, that local zoning requirements could be viewed as an obstruction to access of medical marijuana.  While there has been no indication that the administration has taken such a view on local zoning it is something the League will be monitoring closely.  The review is to be completed within 60 days from the issuance of the EO.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x137.