At today’s COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he will today sign two virus-inspired bills into law, including one that will allow employees forced to care for family members because of COVID-19 up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs.
The second bill will officially extend the state’s tax filing deadline for income and corporate taxes from April 15 to July 15, and extend Fiscal Year 2020 to September 30.
The governor also said that he will provide a revised budget message to the legislature by August 25.
Additionally, Murphy signed an executive order that will postpone deadlines to act on rule proposals and expirations of currently existing rules until 90 days after the current public health emergency has ended, citing that, “This will ensure that agencies across government can focus their attention on the immediate threat of COVID-19.”
Over the past three weeks 576,904 unemployment applications have been filed in New Jersey.
With this unprecedented number of applicants, the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) has expanded the capacity of its call centers in an effort to handle more calls and reduce wait times.
DOL has also automated more of its processes to reduce the time it takes for applicants to receive a determination of eligibility, while also providing laptops for an additional 500 departmental workers to work from home.
Murphy reassured those filing for unemployment that they will not “lose one single penny of benefits that they deserve.”
He also added that the additional $600 per week made available by the CARES Act would be hitting accounts starting today.
There are currently 66 COVID-19 testing sites across New Jersey according to Murphy, who added that New Jersey has run the fourth most tests of any state in the country behind only California, New York and Florida.
However, he expressed that additional resources for testing are still needed.
“We can’t begin to think about reopening unless the resources we get from the federal government are a lot more robust than they have been,” Murphy said.
New Jersey’s total number of COVID-19 cases now stands at 68,824, after 4,059 new cases were reported overnight. As of 10:00 p.m. last night, there were 8,185 people hospitalized for COVID-19 with 514 people discharged.
The total number of fatalities in the state from the virus stands at 2,805 after 365 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
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