New Jersey Senate votes in favor of Russia sanctions, governor issues executive order

(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Senate has voted to bar public investments with Russia, a retaliation for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bipartisan measure, S-1889, would eliminate public investments and other financial agreements with Russia or businesses and people with Russian interests.

It also bans companies or people with Russian investments from obtaining a state or local government professional service contract. It would also prohibit payments instead of a property tax agreement, tax abatements and tax credits or economic incentives from the Economic Development Authority.

“These economic prohibitions will make them pay a price by cutting off sources of revenue here in New Jersey,” state Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said in a statement. “If other states follow our lead, it will make the sanctions imposed by countries throughout the world even more effective. We should try to bleed [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his oligarchs dry of their profiteering.”

The ban also applies to Belarus.

The Senate also voted in favor of ACR-115, a bipartisan concurrent resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The New Jersey Assembly previously approved the resolution.

However, before the vote, some lawmakers questioned what impact the sanctions would have as long as the country buys oil from Russian companies.

“I wholeheartedly support the recent sanctions bill approved by the Senate Budget Committee,” state Sen. Jim Holzapfel, R-Toms River, said in a statement. “However, it will ultimately have a negligible effect on Russia’s economy because the United States will continue to import Russian oil every day and give them billions of dollars in the process.

“Since Russia’s economy relies heavily on energy exports, the only way to effectively sanction the country would be for the United States, and its allies, to cease oil imports and finally become energy independent,” Holzapfel added. “Unfortunately, under the Biden Administration, we are actually more dependent on Russia, and other countries, for energy products than ever before.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 291 to require state agencies to explore their authority to suspend or revoke certifications, licenses, permits and registrations for businesses that invest in companies controlled by Russia and Belarus or its “instrumentalities.” It also directs state agencies to investigate whether the state can boycott or stop importing or purchasing products or services from Russia or Belarus.

“Our administration will immediately undertake a review of what we can do on the state level to increase financial pressure on the undemocratic regime in Moscow and to cut any state ties to the Russian government or its affiliated companies,” Murphy said.

This article was published by The Center Square and is republished here with permission. Click here to view the original.

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