Yesterday, both the Assembly, by a 46-26 vote, and the Senate, by a 22-15 vote, passed the amended State COVID-19 Borrowing bill. Late yesterday Governor Murphy signed it into law. P.L. 2020, c. 60 authorizes the borrowing of up to $9.9 billion in State general obligation bonds to address the State’s financial problems that have arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law permits up to $2.7 billion to be authorized between now and the end of September, which is the end of the extended fiscal year 2020, and the remainder could be borrowed between October 1 and June 30, 2021, which is the new State FY21.
However, prior to the issuance of borrowing the “Select Commission on Emergency COVID-19 Borrowing”, which was created by the bill, must approve authorization. This four-member commission will be comprised of two Senators and two Assembly representatives and will have to approve each request to borrow with a majority vote. Senate President Sweeny has indicated he and Senator Sarlo will serve on the commission. Assembly Speaker Coughlin will be appointing the two Assembly representatives.
The provision of the legislation that authorized borrowing from the federal government on behalf of local governments was removed prior to the floor vote of the Assembly and Senate. We anticipate separate legislation to address municipalities’ financial problems arising from COVID-19.
In addition, today the NJ Supreme Court has accepted review of the NJ GOP challenge to the State’s COVID-19 law. An Order was issued deeming the matter pending in the Supreme Court and scheduled oral arguments for August 5.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x112.