Day: August 24, 2021

Joint Base McGuire-DIX-Lakehurst Takes Part In “Operation Allies Refuge”

August 24, 2021

WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)– Joint Base McGuire-DIX-Lakehurst, is taking part in the Department of State-led “Operation Allies Refuge” Service members are providing support in Kabul, Afghanistan and also back home getting ready to support the arrival of vulnerable Afghans.

In photos released today by the U.S. Airforce, the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-DIX-Lakehurst who is responsible for delivering Rapid Global Mobility to the U.S. and its allies throughout the world is providing opperations support with the C-17 Globemaster fleet in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At the Joint Base service members are working around-the-clock to prepare as the base is set to receive vulnerable Afghans in the coming days. The Department of Defense, in support of the Department of State, is providing transportation and temporary housing in support of Operation Allies Refuge. This initiative follows through on America’s commitment to Afghan citizens who have helped the United States, and provides them essential support at secure locations outside Afghanistan.

2 Vehicle Crash On NJ Turnpike With Injuries In Robbinsville

August 24, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville and Allentown EMS were sent to the New Jersey Turnpike at mile marker 63 north bound outer lanes for an accident. Apparently a Dodge Ram pickup truck hit a car and there were reportedly injuries at the scene. Robbinsville and Allentown transported the injured to a local hospital for treatment. NJ State Police is investigating the crash. No further information is available.

Breaking: Reports Of Man Shot In Face In Trenton

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton EMS and Police were detailed to the area of North Clinton Ave. and Dickinson Street for a male shot to the face just before 4:30 p.m. Upon arrival it was reported police found the injured man suffering a gunshot wound to the mouth area. Trenton EMS quickly transported the victim to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center for treatment. It appeared that detectives from the Shooting Response Team were working the scene. No further information is available at this time.

Hazardous Materials Response In Millstone Township For Large Diesel Fuel Spill

August 24, 2021

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Millstone Township firefighters responded to a gas station at the corner of Rt 537 and Rt 526 Trenton-Lakewood Road this afternoon for a fuel spill. There were reports that there was an overfill of diesel fuel. Millstone firefighters applied oil absorbent and pads to keep the fuel from getting into the storm drain. The Monmouth County Hazardous Materials Team was called to the scene to help mitigate the incident. No further information is available.

2 From Hamilton Arrested After Traffic Stop Leads to DWI Arrest and Seizure of Gun

August 24, 2021

The New Jersey State Police have arrested Juwreh Boe, 35, and Andy Koiquah, 33, both of Hamilton, N.J. after a traffic stop led to a DWI arrest and the recovery of a handgun.

On Saturday, August 21, at 2:25 a.m., troopers from Troop “C” Bordentown Station stopped Boe for a traffic violation on Interstate 295 northbound at milepost 45.2 in Westampton Township.

During the stop, troopers determined that Boe was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him for DWI. After further investigation, troopers discovered that Boe and Koiquah were in possession of a 9mm handgun and hollow point ammunition.

Juwreh Boe and Andy Koiquah were charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, prohibited weapons and devices, and certain persons not to have weapons. Boe was also charged with DWI. Both were released pending a future court date.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Hamilton Firefighters Respond To NJ Transit Train Fire At Hamilton Station

August 24, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Sometime before 3:00 p.m. the Hamilton Township Fire Department was dispatched to the Hamilton NJ Transit Train Station for a reported train on fire. Upon arrival there was smoke coming from the running area under the train. Firefighters had to wait for the North East Corridor to be shut down and the train to be deenergized before applying water to the burning components. Once power was cut the fire was extinguished in about 5 minutes. No further information is available.

Governor Murphy Signs “Timothy J. Piazza’s Law”

New Law Will Require Public Schools and Higher Education Institutions to Implement Anti-Hazing Policies  

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed S84/2093 into law, requiring public and non-public middle schools and high schools, as well as higher education institutions, to adopt anti-hazing policies and penalties for violations of the policies. Under this new law, hazing will be upgraded from a fourth-degree crime to a third-degree crime if it results in death or serious bodily injury, and from a disorderly persons offense to a fourth-degree crime if it results in bodily injury. The legislation is named after Tim Piazza, a 19-year-old Readington resident and Pennsylvania State University student who died after falling down a flight of stairs as a result of hazing in February 2017.  

“The safety of our students is our top priority, and we must do all that we can to protect them from cruel and dangerous hazing rituals,” said Governor Murphy. “With today’s bill signing, we honor Tim Piazza’s life and make our strongest effort yet to root out hazing to prevent similar tragedies.”

“This legislation places the issue of hazing front and center,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “It further emphasizes the importance of fostering positive school climates that help to develop character among students. In addition, it sends the message that this type of behavior is not acceptable.” 

“This law will help colleges foster environments that protect students and keep them safe from harm, so they can focus on what matters most — their school work and continued success,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education. 

“Our greatest hope is that we never have to prosecute someone under this new law, and that we’re able to stamp out illegal hazing through the deterrent effect alone,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck. “But should it become necessary, we will not hesitate to use the enhanced tools that Governor Murphy and the Legislature have now given us to hold accountable those who break the law.” 

“Our son, Tim Piazza, died more than four years ago as a result of Fraternity hazing at Penn State University,” said Jim and Evelyn Piazza. “Since then, we along with other parents of hazing victims have worked to eradicate hazing on college campuses. We are grateful to Senator Kip Bateman for introducing this legislation and Governor Murphy and the other senators and assemblymen and women for supporting the New Jersey anti-hazing law bearing Tim’s name. This law will be the stiffest in the country and will hopefully deter this bad behavior and hold those accountable who choose to put someone’s well-being and/or life at risk as part of an initiation ritual.”

“Timothy Piazza of Readington was a 19-year-old Penn State University student who tragically died in 2017 during a fraternity hazing ritual. Shortly after his death, I received a letter from Matthew Prager, a 12-year-old student who was Timothy’s friend and neighbor, asking that I introduce anti-hazing legislation in Timothy’s name,” said Senator Kip Bateman. “To this day, I am grateful to Matthew for sending me that letter. No student deserves to go through the ritual humiliation that 19-year-old Timothy Piazza experienced on the night that he lost his life. With the signing of this bill, hazing will no longer be tolerated in New Jersey.” 

“For too long, hazing has been used as a rite of passage into college fraternities and sororities. It is dangerous, it is irresponsible, and tragically, at times it is deadly,” said Senator Troy Singleton. “However, as a member of a Greek organization, I am saying ‘enough is enough.’ If students are hazing another student, they must understand the seriousness of this illegal practice and what’s at stake. The signing of this legislation will ensure there are real consequences for their actions.” 

“Individuals who engage in hazing foster a culture of humiliation and violence. And yet, more than half of all students are hazed at some point during their college career,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. “This legislation, which was spurred by the tragic loss of Timothy Piazza who died during a fraternity hazing ritual, sends a clear message: if you engage in deplorable acts like hazing, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

“It is evident that Greek life and hazing rituals continue to be intertwined and are still taking place at colleges throughout the country,” said Senator Linda Greenstein.  “Anything that puts the physical wellbeing of students at risk must be met with repercussions and college fraternities and sororities must understand that hazing is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances.” 

“Hazing has been a problem plaguing our institutions of higher education for years,” said Assemblywoman Carol Murphy. “Far too many students looking to socialize and fit in with their peers have been pressured into participating in dangerous activities with very real consequences. We must do everything we can to prevent the loss of any more lives as a result of hazing.” 

“It is simply unnecessary for a fraternity or any other college organization to force fellow students into dangerous situations in order to initiate them into a group,” said Majority Leader Louis Greenwald. “I know our students can find better ways to socialize with one another that don’t needlessly put anyone’s health or safety at risk. This law will help serve as a deterrent, by making it clear our state does not tolerate this behavior.” 

“Simply put, students like Timothy Piazza should never feel as though school is a dangerous environment,” said Assemblyman Roy Freiman. “This law will help prevent senseless losses of life in our universities and ensure students’ college experiences are safer going forward.” 

Seaside Park Teen Sentenced To Juvenile Probation For Seaside Park Shooting

August 24, 2021

SEASIDE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 23, 2021, Michael Jedziniak, 18, of Seaside Park, was sentenced by the Honorable Kimarie Rahill, J.S.C., to a four-year suspended sentence to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Armed Robbery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a(1), and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a.  In lieu of incarceration at a facility operated by the JJC as requested by the State, Judge Rahill imposed a term of 18 months probation under the supervision of the Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program (JISP); as a condition of his JISP probation, Jedziniak must attend and successfully complete a Residential Program operated by the JJC.  Upon successful completion of his JISP probation, Jedziniak will remain on probation for an additional 18 months and be supervised by the Ocean County Probation Department. 

The State was seeking a seven year sentence of incarceration to the custody of the JJC.  Jedziniak, who was 17 years-old when the crimes occurred, pled guilty to both charges before Judge Rahill on June 8, 2021.

On October 27, 2020, at approximately 11:45 a.m., the Seaside Park Police Department responded to the area of I Street in response to a 911 call for a reported shooting in conjunction with a Robbery.  Responding Officers were met by witnesses to the incident; a short time later, a white BMW pulled up to a marked Seaside Heights Police vehicle in the Borough of Seaside Heights and advised that one of the passengers was the victim of a robbery and shooting.  The victim was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, treated for injuries, and released.  Following a thorough investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Seaside Park Police Department, Seaside Heights Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Jedziniak was identified as the perpetrator.  A warrant for Jedziniak’s arrest was executed by the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and he was taken into custody without incident. Jedziniak was processed at Seaside Park Police Headquarters, and has been lodged at the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, Seaside Park Police Department, Seaside Heights Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for the collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation and disposition.

Related MidJersey.News coverage:

Arrest Made In Seaside Park Shooting

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Establishing the Garden State C-PACE Program

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (A-2374) which establishes the Garden State Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program. The program will facilitate the funding of clean and renewable energy infrastructure at commercial properties throughout the state, furthering the Administration’s commitment to battling climate change.

“C-PACE programs have been proven to be successful in many states,” said Governor Murphy. “Establishing a C-PACE program in New Jersey is a decision that will lead to more businesses and landlords embracing renewable energy, climate resiliency technology, and other clean energy measures that improve our communities while saving money for New Jerseyans.”

“The plan to create the Garden State C-CPACE program aligns with Governor Murphy’s clean energy vision by helping businesses, non-profits and multi-family residential developers or property owners overcome the financial hurdles of implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate resiliency measures,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan. “The NJEDA team is excited for the opportunity to reduce the financial burden of making these critical investments by alleviating upfront costs and lowering debt service payments. This will help property owners to preserve precious capital resources for other important projects.” 

Primary sponsors for A-2374 are Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, and Senators Bob Smith and Kip Bateman.

“More property owners would likely be willing to make environmentally beneficial improvements to their property if they were able to access the financing to do so. The C-PACE program makes it easy for owners to make these changes by eliminating upfront costs and providing a competitive long-term financing option,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “By offering this opportunity to property owners throughout the state, we can help residents take advantage of cost-saving measures that would also benefit the environment and resiliency of New Jersey. The program is a win-win for everyone involved.”

“New Jersey needs to start upgrading its buildings to become greener and more efficient. We also need to upgrade our physical and energy infrastructure in order to withstand powerful storms like Superstorm Sandy,” said Senator Bob Smith, Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “Through C-PACE, municipalities will be able to provide initial financing for improving the sustainability and efficiency of buildings or properties. It is only a matter of time until we are confronted with another catastrophic storm, and when that occurs, we have to be ready.”

“Countless commercial property owners across the state are ready to embrace renewable energy, but upfront costs are an obstacle,” said Senator Kip Bateman. “The legislation signed today will help mitigate the fiscal concerns and provide owners with flexible, long-term financing alternatives. In 2011, New Jersey adopted one of the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy portfolio standards, and this will make clean energy more accessible and affordable for all New Jerseyans.”

A-2374 requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to establish a Garden State Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) Program to facilitate the financing of C-PACE projects. The bill also allows certain local governments to establish their own local C-PACE programs to facilitate the financing of C-PACE projects. A C-PACE project is defined as (1) the acquisition, construction, capital lease, installation, or modification of an energy efficiency improvement, renewable energy system, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, flood resistant construction improvement, or hurricane resistant construction improvement; (2) a microgrid or district heating and cooling system in which a property owner participates for the duration of the C-PACE assessment; or (3) a power purchase agreement with respect to a renewable energy system affixed to a property. The properties that are eligible for C-PACE financing are industrial, agricultural, or commercial properties; residential properties containing five or more dwelling units; common areas of condominiums and other planned real estate developments; and properties owned by a tax-exempt or nonprofit entity, including, schools, hospitals, institutions of higher education, and religious institutions.

“C-PACE is the most popular energy efficiency program you haven’t heard of and it will make a huge impact to turbo charge green financing for energy efficiency investments. We need all hands on deck to keep pace with our state energy efficiency mandates and climate goals — the C-PACE program will help us to boost energy efficiency,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “We applaud Governor Murphy for signing this legislation and his work with prime sponsors Sen. Smith and Asm. Mukherji and we urge NJEDA to move forward with the rule-making process as quickly as possible.”

“We applaud the Assembly’s leadership in passing C-PACE legislation and thank Governor Murphy for signing it into law. New Jerseyans need this program now more than ever,” said Emma Horst-Martz, Advocate with NJPIRG. “With climate change causing more intense and frequent storms, higher temperatures, and more costly utility bills, businesses and organizations can now use the C-PACE program to finance energy efficiency improvements on their buildings. Advocates have been working towards this day for a long time and we look forward to a swift rulemaking process at the Economic Development Authority so our communities can start benefiting from the program.”

“PACENation is delighted to welcome New Jersey to the C-PACE family,” said PACENation Executive Director Colin Bishopp. “With today’s bill signing by Governor Murphy, New Jersey becomes the thirty-eighth state to embrace C-PACE as a crucial financing option for property owners. The Garden State C-PACE program administered by NJ Economic Development Authority will create local jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and facilitate thousands of building upgrades that might not have been possible otherwise. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Cape May Beach Patrol Lifeguard Norman V. Inferrera, III

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Friday, August 27, 2021 to honor Cape May Beach Patrol Lifeguard Norman V. Inferrera III, who passed away at the age of 16 following a tragic accident while on-duty. 

“Norman’s passing at such a young age is a devastating loss for his family, the Cape May community, and our state,” said Governor Murphy. “As a lifeguard, Norman took on a special responsibility to help others and that is what he was doing when he was tragically fatally injured. We will forever be grateful to him for his selfless service to the people of Cape May. Tammy and I would like to express our sincere condolences to Norman’s family and friends during this tremendously difficult time.”

Copy of Executive Order #254

Update: 16 Year Old, Cape May Beach Patrol Lifeguard, Norman V. Inferrera III. Passed Away From Injuries Sustained In Lifeguard Boat Accident

City of Trenton to Host Parade Celebrating Olympian Athing Mu this Sunday

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City of Trenton will host a parade this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Athing Mu, a Trenton native who recently won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Mu is expected to return to Trenton this weekend to attend the event, which will be held rain or shine. The parade assembly will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Trenton Central High School on 400 Chambers Street. Starting at 2:00 p.m., the procession will make its way along the following streets before ending at Trenton City Hall:

  • Lineup will start on Chambers Street at the Corner of Hamilton Avenue
  • Right turn onto Hamilton Avenue
  • Right turn onto Clinton Avenue
  • Left turn onto E. State Street
  • End at City Hall front steps at 319 E. State Street

“We’ve been working extensively with Athing’s family and several community, school, county, and state representatives to plan a welcome home that is worthy of an Olympic champion,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Her dominant performance in Tokyo will undoubtedly be an inspiration to Trenton’s youth for years to come. After rooting for her throughout the Olympics, we’re grateful to have the chance to come together as a community and celebrate her achievements in person.”

During the Tokyo Olympics, Mu claimed the first 800-meter gold medal for an American woman in that event since 1968 and broke a U.S. record at the same time. She then went on to help the U.S. team win another gold-medal in the 4×400-meter relay.

Mu was born in Trenton and is a graduate of Trenton Central High School. She ran for the Trenton Track Club. Mu was named the 2020 National High School Indoor Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News.

She now attends Texas A&M, where she holds the U-20 Indoor 400-meter NCAA record of 49:57 and 800-meter of 1:57:73. On June 27, Mu won her first U.S. outdoors title in the final 200 meters of the 800-meter setting a world-leading record and securing the second-fastest time in American history with 1:56:07

Breaking: Reports Of A Shooting On Route 29 North Near Riverside Avenue In Trenton

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:15 p.m. last night August 23, Trenton EMS was dispatched to Route 29 and Riverside Avenue for a shooting victim. Trenton Police and New Jersey State Police were on scene and secured the area. Trenton EMS immediately transported the victim to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. It appears that members of the Trenton Shooting Response Team were on scene investigating the incident. Route 29 was closed initially at first Riverside exit then moved up closer to the exit by the pedestrian over pass as the investigation continued. No further information is available tonight and MidJersey.News has emailed police officials for information when it becomes available. This is breaking news report from on scene and radio reports once official information is received the story will be updated, corrections and additions will be made at that time.

Vehicle Crashes Overturns And Burst Into Flames On NJ Turnpike In East Windsor

August 24, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 8:30 p.m. last night August 23, the Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Hightstown Fire Department were dispatched to a vehicle fire at mile marker 65 north bound inner roadway. Radio reports say that a vehicle traveling north in the outer roadway crashed and overturned and ended up in the inner roadway and burst into flames. When firefighters arrived they found a vehicle fully involved at mile marker 65 and quickly extinguished the fire. Ambulances from Robbinsville Township and Hightstown First Aid Squad transported accident victims for what appeared to be minor injuries to local hospitals. No further information is available at this time.

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Instituting Vaccination or Testing Requirement for All Preschool to Grade 12 Personnel

Governor Murphy Also Announces Vaccination and Testing Policy for All State Workers

All Preschool to Grade 12 Settings and State Entities Will Have Until October 18, 2021 to Come Into Full Compliance With the Vaccine or Testing Requirement

August 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed Executive Order No. 253, requiring all preschool to Grade 12 school personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021 or be subject to COVID-19 testing at minimum one to two times per week. This requirement will strengthen protections against the spread of COVID-19, including the highly transmissible Delta variant, to children in school settings, many of whom are under 12 years old and not yet eligible for vaccination.

Governor Murphy also announced that all State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021 or be subject to COVID-19 testing at minimum one to two times per week. State employees in certain healthcare and correctional facilities are already subject to the vaccination or testing requirement under previously issued Executive Order No. 252. Today’s announcement extends the scope to all workers of state agencies, authorities, and colleges and universities. The State will work with impacted agencies and authorities, as well as union partners, over the coming weeks to implement this requirement.

Today’s Order also clarifies that individuals seeking a medical exemption from mask wearing pursuant to certain exceptions outlined in Executive Order No. 251 for all public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, will be required to produce written documentation from a medical professional to support that exemption.  Self-attestations and parental attestations are not sufficient.

“Scientific data shows that vaccination and testing requirements, coupled with strong masking policies, are the best tools for keeping our schools and communities safe for in-person activities,” said Governor Murphy. “As the school year rapidly approaches, my Administration is continuing to do all that we can to ensure a safe, full-time, in-person learning environment for our students, many of whom are not yet eligible for vaccination. Additionally, it is critically important to extend our vaccination and testing requirement to our State employees, so that they can continue to safely provide vital government services for the benefit of all New Jerseyans. We will continue to work collaboratively with school officials, teachers unions, and public-sector union partners over the next several weeks as this new requirement goes into effect.”

For purposes of Executive Order No. 253, preschool to Grade 12 settings include:

  • All public, private, and parochial preschool programs, elementary, and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools.

For purposes of Executive Order No. 253, workers are defined as:

  • All individuals employed by a preschool to Grade 12 setting as defined above, both full- and part-time, including, but not limited to, administrators, teachers, educational support professionals, individuals providing food, custodial, and administrative support services;
  • Substitute teachers, whether employed directly by a preschool to Grade 12 setting or otherwise contracted; and,
  • Contractors, providers, and any other individuals performing work in preschool to Grade 12 settings whose job duties require them to make regular visits to such covered settings, including volunteers. 

Covered workers do not include individuals who visit the covered setting only to provide one-time or limited-duration repairs, services, or construction.   

All preschool to Grade 12 settings will have until October 18, 2021 to come into full compliance with the vaccine or testing requirement. At that time, if a worker has not submitted proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the worker will be required to submit to a minimum once to twice weekly testing. Regardless of whether the setting is providing workers with on-site access to testing or requiring workers to submit proof of a COVID-19 test, both antigen and molecular tests will be acceptable to fulfill the requirements of the Order.  

Workers are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine. Individuals will only be considered fully vaccinated when they have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, or that are approved for use by the same. Workers for whom vaccination status is unknown or who have not provided sufficient proof of document, must be considered unvaccinated for purposes of this Order.   

This Order will not impact a school’s ability to impose more stringent vaccination or testing requirements on workers, including any requirement for more frequent testing, for testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, and for mandatory vaccinations without a testing alternative.

Public, private, and parochial preschool programs, elementary, and secondary school settings have access to multiple sources of funding to address costs associated with worker vaccination efforts and diagnostic testing, including three rounds of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS) within the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds. The State will continue to work closely with these pre-K to 12 settings to successfully implement the requirements of the Order.

“Governor Murphy gets it,” said Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers. “Parents and educators need the safety protocols and a plan in place to keep everyone safe and protected as we return to in-person learning. We know how important it is to be in school and stay in school, even amid the Delta surge—and vaccines, testing, ventilation, hand washing and masking are the tools to get us there. The AFT has resolved to work with employers on vaccine policies, including mandates, and we are proud to endorse the Governor’s sensible, science-based approach.”

“No one wants to be back in the classroom with their students more than educators, and student safety is our number one priority,” said Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association. “NEA has said from the beginning that we need to follow the science, and evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines, combined with other mitigation strategies, are the most powerful weapon we have against the pandemic. We applaud Gov. Murphy for putting students and educators’ health first and keeping New Jersey’s schools safe.”

“The value of in-person education for our children is clear,” said Jeanne Craft, MD, FAAP, President, New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. “Measures that ensure vaccination of all eligible persons, supported by testing, masking, respectful physical distancing, handwashing and staying home when sick, comprise a prudent approach to ensuring the safety of all children and adults in school settings. Children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination against SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and the immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable to this virus. We must remain vigilant and surround them with protection as we fight to end this pandemic.”

“Once again, Gov. Murphy has shown courage by making this difficult decision to require vaccination or regular testing for all prekindergarten-to-12 personnel and public college-university employees,” said AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera. “He’s putting politics aside and placing their health and safety and that of their communities as his top priority. Students do best academically and socially in classrooms, and requiring school personnel to be vaccinated or tested greatly contributes to the safest learning environment possible. That said, with the rise in breakthrough COVID-19 cases and the spread of the delta variant, we’re hopeful that testing of vaccinated individuals is the next safety protocol put into effect at New Jersey’s PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities so they can stay open throughout the 2021-22 school year.”

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have called for following the guidance of public health officials to keep the students and staff in our public schools safe,” said Sean M. Spiller, President-elect, NJEA. “Gov. Murphy has been a great partner in that effort to ensure that our students continue to learn and grow while remaining as protected as possible. This Executive Order is another example of Gov. Murphy’s unwavering commitment to health and safety of NJEA members and the students we serve. We will continue to urge everyone who is eligible and able to get vaccinated. Along with masking and other COVID-19 safety measures, that is the best way to keep all of our communities safe and move through this pandemic.”

“The New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA) stands in support of the COVID-19 proposed vaccination requirement for school staff that Governor Phil Murphy announced,” said Donna Pleus, President, New Jersey State School Nurses Association. “School safety and return to in-person learning are two of NJSSNA’s highest priorities.  School nurses are the frontline healthcare providers for the 1.3 million children in our state. Governor Murphy has the support and endorsement of NJSSNA in this important initiative. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most effective public health strategies we have to protect our students.”  

“We have always strongly encouraged all New Jersey citizens, including AFSCME New Jersey members, to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Steve Tully, Executive Director of AFSCME NJ. “We understand and support Governor Murphy’s position, and applaud his office’s willingness to bargain over the impact of mandatory vaccines or weekly testing for all state workers. This policy will help ensure the safety of workers while still respecting the rights of those who are hesitant about getting the vaccine. We hope this serves as an example to other employers across the state.”

“Governor Murphy announced today that all New Jersey State workers will be required to get vaccinated for the coronavirus or undergo regular testing. IFPTE Local 194 welcomes this critical public safety measure and looks forward to working with the governor to implement this policy in our workplaces. Getting vaccinated is the safest way to build protection for you, your loved ones, your co-workers and your entire community,” said Barry Kushnir, President of IFPTE Local 194. “Governor Murphy has never backed down during the fight against COVID-19 and the working people of New Jersey recognize his leadership. Local 194 is proud to support his latest public health measure and our hard working union brothers and sisters will be safer as a result. Get vaccinated today and protect your fellow union members.”

For a copy of Executive Order No. 253, click here.