In response to Governor Phil Murphy’s decision to veto S-2704/A-4413, legislation that would appropriate $30 million to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) from the federal "Coronavirus Relief Fund" to assist food establishments impacted by Executive Order No. 158, Cape May County Freeholder candidates Brendan Sciarra and Liz Casey issued the following statement:
“The Governor’s decision to veto this bipartisan relief bill is deeply disappointing,” said Sciarra. “The bill had unanimous bipartisan support, passing both houses without a single no vote. The restaurant and bar industry is an integral part of Cape May County’s economy employing thousands of workers. It has been a brutal year for the industry and many businesses have had to close their doors. We should be doing all we can to give businesses and employees the resources needed to save their livelihoods.”
Executive Order No. 158 rescinded a previous order to resume limited indoor dining on July 2. The bill S-2704/A-4413 would have provided $30 million in loans or grants to restaurants harmed by the rescinded reopening, funded by the state’s federal CARES Act aid.
“It’s not often a bill passes both houses without a single no vote,” said Casey. “I am deeply dismayed by the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation. The restaurant and bar industry has been living day to day, scratching and clawing to survive, many have already gone out of business. It is urgent we get these relief funds into the hands of restaurant and bar owners and their employees. Cape May County’s service industry generates millions in annual revenues as well as state and local taxes. Now it’s time for the state to give our service industry a return on their investment.”
“As a restaurant owner, I know just how difficult it has been,” added Sciarra. “The Cape’s service industry has had to spend significant amounts of money to adapt to new rules and regulations to maintain the health and safety of patrons and employees to stay in business. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have outdoor space to work with, but many establishments do not have the potential for outdoor seating and the winter months are fast approaching. We must provide every available resource to give restaurant owners and their employees a fighting chance, including revising indoor dining limits and guidelines,” concluded Sciarra.
Ordered and paid for by Sciarra and Casey for Freeholder, PO Box 1551 Wildwood, NJ 08260.