GOVERNOR MURPHY ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO NOMINATE RACHEL WAINER APTER TO SERVE ON THE NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT
At Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall at Rutgers–Newark, Governor Phil Murphy announced his intention to nominate Rachel Wainer Apter to the New Jersey Supreme Court to fill the seat of Associate Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, who will retire at the end of the current Court term on August 31, 2021. The appointment will first be sent to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee. With the Committee’s approval, the Governor will proceed with a formal nomination, subject to advice and consent in the Senate.
“In the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s passing, the advances in civil rights that she spent a lifetime fighting for are under threat in Washington,” said Governor Murphy. “State courts have never mattered more, and I am honored to nominate Rachel Wainer Apter, who clerked for Justice Ginsburg and followed in her footsteps as a civil rights lawyer, to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Over the past few years, Rachel has defended New Jersey’s DREAMers in federal court, drove Facebook to confront hate speech on its platform, and proposed reforms to prevent sexual harassment. I know she will continue to serve all New Jerseyans on our state’s highest court.”
“Rachel has dedicated her professional life to protecting others from grave threats to their liberties,” said Lieutenant Governor Oliver. “Our Court has stood, time and again, as the last best protector of the rights of residents. This court has stood strong against outside political interference and pressure. Rachel will undoubtedly continue and strengthen this storied tradition.”
"The law is not simply a subject to be debated or a puzzle to be solved, but something that profoundly impacts the lives of individual people each day," said Rachel Wainer Apter, Director of the Division of Civil Rights. "The cases that the New Jersey Supreme Court hears concern issues of fundamental importance to our state and to all of us as individuals, including how our society will live up to the promise of equal justice under the law. I am grateful beyond measure for the faith that Governor Murphy has placed in me with this nomination, and will do my best to serve the people of New Jersey if confirmed."
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OLIVER ANNOUNCES SECOND PHASE OF RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Recognizing that New Jersey residents continue to need rental assistance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Lieutenant Governor Oliver announced that the application period for a second phase of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will open on March 22, 2021. The federally-funded program will provide approximately $353 million in rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income as a result of the pandemic, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for many New Jersey residents, but we are committed to ensuring housing security for as many people as possible during this unpreceded time,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide help with rent for low- and moderate-income households where income has been impacted by the pandemic.”
“This pandemic has created a crisis for so many of our fellow New Jerseyans who are struggling to pay their rent because they’ve lost jobs or aren’t bringing home as much money as they once did. Governor Murphy and I urge people in this situation to quickly apply to the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “We’ve been in these difficult times for more than a year as a nation and state and we want to help as many people as possible pay their rent, including assisting with overdue rent, to promote housing stability and prevent homelessness.”
GOVERNOR MURPHY SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ALLOWING OUTDOOR INTERSTATE YOUTH SPORTS COMPETITIONS
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 232, which rescinds the current prohibition on outdoor interstate youth competitions, effective 6:00 a.m. on Friday, March 19.
“As the weather begins to warm up and with outdoor sports seasons looking to begin, I am pleased that we are able to take this step,” said Governor Murphy. “This has been a challenging year, and I am excited to know that our young athletes will soon be competing out on the field.”
Attendees at outdoor sports competitions will be limited to players, coaches, and officials, and up to two parents or guardians per participating athlete. No additional spectators or attendees will be allowed.
All persons in attendance at youth sports competitions must follow all health and safety protocols for sports activities, which require attendees to wear masks and social distance, and athletes to wear masks when not engaged in activity.
GOVERNOR MURPHY CONTINUES VISITS TO NEW JERSEY VACCINATION SITES
Governor Murphy visited vaccination sites in Lakewood, Orange, and Maplewood, highlighting New Jersey's efforts to vaccinate members of the state's religious communities, minority communities, and frontline transit workers.
GOVERNOR MURPHY ANNOUNCES SECOND ROUND OF APPLICATION FOR LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION ACT
Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of the second round of grant solicitations for the Library Construction Bond Act (LCBA), allocating $37.5 million in grants. This allocation is subject to change pending grant agreements from the first round of grant solicitations. The LCBA, which authorized $125 million in state bonds, was passed by New Jersey voters in November 2017 to improve public library facilities across the state in order to ensure the well-being and success of New Jersey residents.
“From providing critical resources to serving as community hubs for learning and gathering for our residents, libraries are a central part of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all,” said Governor Murphy. “We are pleased to announce the second round of grant solicitations that our communities will benefit from to fund critical projects that will provide improvements to modernize our libraries.”
“While we celebrate the fact that libraries will soon break ground on 38 highly-ranked projects in communities across the state from round one funding, we look forward to the launch of the second round of grant solicitations for the Library Construction Bond Act,” said Jennifer Nelson, New Jersey State Librarian. “We are grateful for the LCBA initiative, which will once again provide NJ libraries an opportunity to improve their facilities, making them safer, more energy efficient, and technologically modern.”
“This additional investment in New Jersey libraries will continue to transform libraries across the state, allowing for important enhanced access to better serve our residents and support the educational and community priorities of the state,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, President of Thomas Edison State University.