To the Editor:
Much has happened locally and nationally in the past months to raise questions for all thinking Americans.
In our state, the governor has continued his unnecessary, unconstitutional, unilateral, and apparently never-ending state of emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The virus is turning out to be much less deadly than originally predicted and hospitals haven't been overrun with patients. We still have to wait for tests and the number of cases has trended higher despite closing businesses, mandating mask-wearing, social distancing, and ordering people out of bars and restaurants.
Now, with those same restrictions in place, the number of cases is decreasing.
In New Jersey, there is a state constitutional amendment that basically states the government cannot borrow money to balance the state budget. However, that exact thing happened in 2020.
Sen. Testa brought a suit in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court to ask them to enforce the state constitution. He lost 7-0 and the Murphy administration borrowed $9.9 billion to balance the budget, leaving taxpayers on the hook to repay $189.6 billion borrowed by Murphy and previous administrations.
According to Forbes, this is the highest state debt load in the U.S., and unless the 'emergency' ends, more borrowing can happen again in 2021. Any company borrowing to pay for current expenses ceases to exist.
The governor continues to make decisions on his own without the obvious input of the state Legislature. This situation needs to end, and the governor needs to stop it by not renewing his emergency declaration. The governor's extraordinary executive orders also need to expire.
The Legislature needs to step in and do the jobs they were elected to do by legislating. The judiciary needs to fulfill its role by investigating the emergency response, prosecuting the bad actors, and adjudicating the mountain of claims related to additional government restrictions that disrupted everything.
New Jerseyans need to move past the current situation and come back together. I think these issues are local. I don't think these are partisan, although one's position on the issue may result from partisan influences.
If these more foundational issues don't get worked out, what hope is there for basic government services, like good roads and bridges?