NEW JERSEY – Senator Anthony M. Bucco today expressed his complete disappointment with Governor Murphy’s veto of a bill that would have helped thousands of New Jersey restaurants and taverns struggling to survive during the pandemic.
The legislation (A-4525) would have expanded opportunities for bars, restaurants, breweries and distilleries to provide outdoor dining.
“This unthinkable veto could be the final nail in the coffin of so many more small establishments that may have been able to save themselves if Murphy would have signed this common-sense bill into law,” Bucco said. “Both houses of the Legislature supported this unanimously, but the Governor, yet again, turned his back on the hard-working restaurant employees and business owners in their time of need.”
The bill would have allowed the owners and operators of eateries to utilize outdoor spaces which they own or lease and which are located either on, or adjacent to, their business premises for the purpose of conducting sales of food and beverages.
“Restaurants are closing at an alarming rate. A recent newspaper report identified an extensive list of establishments that have closed during the pandemic,” Bucco said. “This bill was a simple change that would have helped to bring in more revenue for the struggling small businesses that have been crushed by Murphy’s lockdowns and restrictions.
“The Governor’s veto is an affront to small business owners who are doing everything they can to save jobs and their businesses,” Bucco said. “I can’t imagine what he was thinking. The Governor’s veto will bring even more damage to our state and the economy.”