Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Prevent State Resources from Supporting the Russian Government
Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 291 (“EO 291”) on March 2, 2022, which requires all state agencies to review their authority to suspend or revoke licenses, permits, registrations, and certifications of businesses that invest directly in companies owned or controlled by the governments of Russia, Belarus, or their instrumentalities, and businesses that invest directly in such companies. EO 291 also directs all relevant State agencies to undertake a review of the State’s ability to boycott or halt the import or purchase of products or services provided from Russia or Belarus.
EO 291 is broad-reaching in its scope and includes:
- Boycotting or halting the import or purchase of any products or services provided from the Russian Federation or Belarus, including, but not limited to, food products, energy products, clothing products, jewelry, and liquor or other alcoholic beverages made in the Russian Federation or Belarus.
- Reviewing all relevant State contracts to determine if any are with companies owned or controlled by the governments of Russia, Belarus, or their instrumentalities, or businesses that invest directly in such companies, directly or as subcontractors.
- Requiring the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to issue bulletins or directives to regulated entities requiring them to fully comply with United States sanctions on the Russian Federation and Belarus, as well as with New Jersey and federal laws and regulations.
- Advising regulated financial and insurance entities within the State to evaluate systems for cyber risk and take appropriate actions to mitigate that risk.
State agencies are required to submit their preliminary findings and actions taken within the scope of EO 291 to the Governor no later than 5:00 pm on March 7, 2022. The Murphy Administration will subsequently coordinate activities among State agencies to prevent State resources from supporting the Russian and Belarusian governments or Russian and Belarusian state-owned companies.
Governor Murphy further announced as part of EO 291 that he may consider other legislation, gubernatorial measures, and cabinet-level actions in response to the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. The Governor signaled his support for legislation that bars public entities from doing business with the Russian government or Russian government-tied entities (S-1889/A-3090).
Gibbons has a unique mix of government and regulatory affairs attorneys, commercial litigators, and white-collar investigators who can help clients comply with EO 291 in a rapidly evolving environment of potential sanctions and enforcement activity.