Gov. Murphy signs executive order authorizing commandeering of property such as medical supplies
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 113, authorizing the New Jersey State Director of Emergency Management to use the Governor’s full authority under the Disaster Control Act to commandeer personal services and/or real or personal property. This includes medical supplies and equipment from private companies and institutions in order to help meet the continued need for ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the State in hospitals, health care facilities, and emergency response agencies due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
“We must continue to take action to meet the critical medical needs of our hospitals and medical centers during this pandemic,” Murphy said. “While we look forward to these facilities cooperating in providing this equipment, this order gives the Office of Emergency Management the express authority to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring that supplies go to where they are most needed.”
Executive Order No. 113 authorizes New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan, the State Director of Emergency Management, to take or use resources from private sources in order to address the continued pressing public health concern presented by COVID-19. This authority shall be exercised in consultation with the Department of Health. The Order also states that compensation for such takings will be provided by the procedures established under the Disaster Control Act.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that heath care professionals in dire need of personal protective equipment are our first priority, because they are the heroes on the front lines, providing life-saving care to the sick,” Callahan said. “We will continue to work cooperatively with our partners at the Department of Health to determine where these critical resources are best allocated.”
Executive Order No. 113 builds on direction in Executive Order No. 109—signed on March 23, 2020—mandating that all businesses and non-hospital health care facilities submit an inventory to the State of PPE, ventilators, respirators, and anesthesia machines in their possession. Today’s executive order also builds on direction in Executive Order No. 111—signed on March 28, 2020—requiring health care facilities to report data concerning their capacity and supplies to the State on a daily basis, including data relating to bed capacity, ventilators, and PPE.