Senator ANTHONY M. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Appropriates $30 million to EDA from federal “Coronavirus Relief Fund” to assist certain live entertainment venues.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act allocating federal funding to assist certain live entertainment venues and making an appropriation.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority the sum of $30 million from a portion of those federal block grant funds allocated to the State from the federal “Coronavirus Relief Fund,” established pursuant to the federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” Pub.L.116-136, for use by the authority to provide financial support, by way of grants, to live entertainment venues for the costs associated with business operation interruptions caused by by the coronavirus 2019 disease.
b. This act shall not apply to a commercial establishment which regularly features live performances characterized by the exposure of a “specified anatomical area” or by a “specified sexual activity” as defined in section 2 of P.L.1995, c.230 (C.2C:34-6).
c. The authority shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this act.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill appropriates $30 million to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority from a portion of those federal block grant funds allocated to the State from the federal “Coronavirus Relief Fund,” established pursuant to the federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” Pub.L.116-136, for use by the EDA to provide financial support, by way of loans or grants, to food establishments for costs associated with business operation interruptions caused by Executive Order No. 158.
Over the past four months, the State has been confronting the viral disease known as coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19), which has necessitated certain emergency measures to curtail its spread. As part of these measures, on March 21, 2020, the Governor signed Executive Order No. 107, which directed all residents to stay at home until further notice and closed all non-essential businesses to the public. This order affected thousands of businesses and especially food establishments, some of whom shuttered their doors permanently. In the months following this order, subsequent orders have been signed lifting these restrictions as cases of COVID-19 have fallen, and since June 15, 2020, food establishments have been able to offer outdoor dining service, which has helped recoup some of their losses.
In light of this progress, on June 26, 2020, the Governor, as part of his administration’s reopening plan, signed Executive Order No. 157, which allowed food establishments to offer indoor dining service, with limitations. This order, originally scheduled to go into effect on July 2, was a source of added relief for food establishments who were struggling financially, even after the reopening of outdoor dining. Yet, with hospitalizations for COVID-19 having fallen 90 percent since April, and with the State on track to contain the disease, the Governor reversed his decision to reopen indoor dining, citing a rise in COVID-19 cases in other states. This decision, formalized under Executive Order No. 158, severely affected food establishments who hired additional staff and equipment in anticipation of reopening, and may lead some establishments to close permanently.
Under this bill, $30 million will be allocated to the EDA from the “Coronavirus Relief Fund” in order to financially support food establishments impacted by Executive Order No. 158. By providing this support, an important part of our State’s economy and culture will be protected.