HUNTERDON COUNTY, N.J. - Some New Jersey lawmakers want Governor Phil Murphy to rethink his decision to close all state and county parks.
Last week, Murphy announced he was closing the parks to slow the spread of coronavirus. But some lawmakers argue it should be up to the counties to decide what parks are closed and when.
The Hunterdon County Freeholders wrote a letter to the governor's office asking him to reconsider, stating that the decision is a "one-size-fits-all" approach.
Freeholder John Lanza said New Jersey's more rural counties, like Hunterdon, should be able to open their parks and trails to the public as long as they do not become overcrowded. Lanza also said the governor's order is confusing to residents. Under Murphy's directive, local municipalities are able to decide whether their parks remain open or closed.
“Nobody is questioning that the Governor has superior information. He's got good people around. He's made a lot of good decisions over the past few weeks. But I think in this one, we would have been better served to have the discretion to decide whether to close all the parks, some of the parks, or none of the parks,” Lanza said.
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R) NJ-23 is also calling on Governor Murphy to reconsider, telling 69 News it's important for people to have an outlet to get outside.
"If there is a particular county that is having a problem with their parks, let them close their parks. Let the people closest to you, that represent you, make those decisions. If there is a problem at a county park let them close them,” Peterson said.
On Monday, New Jersey Assembly Democrats defeated Republicans in a 52-27 vote to keep state and county parks closed until the coronavirus crisis has passed.