TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A4132) which would modify the State’s shared work program and change eligibility for the State’s unemployment insurance program. Earlier this week the bill was returned to the Legislature with recommended changes necessary to facilitate furloughs in lieu of layoffs. The Legislature today concurred with the Governor’s conditional veto.
“The revisions sent back to the Legislature strengthen this legislation by taking advantage of existing programs to ensure cost savings for the State while still protecting our workforce,” said Governor Murphy.
The recommendations outlined in the conditional veto include eliminating changes to UI law included in the bill, which would shift the cost of covering workers from the federal government to the State. Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not eligible for State unemployment benefits can receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits until December 31, 2020, ensuring that they are covered.
The conditional veto also makes other revisions necessary to facilitate the furlough in lieu of layoffs of public employees. These revisions will ensure that pension, health benefits, and civil service rights are maintained during the period of any furlough taken during the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The revisions also allow schools that are providing virtual instruction to participate in furlough programs. The Murphy Administration has already pursued furlough agreements including last week’s agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA).