Gov. Phil Murphy said he is returning the bill to lawmakers because signing it would have required an extension of the deadline for local officials to file this year's financial disclosures. (Hal Brown for New Jersey Monitor)
A bill that would have allowed some public workers and elected officials to shield their home addresses from annual financial disclosures was conditionally vetoed by Gov. Phil Murphy Monday over a timing issue.
“Despite my strong support of this legislation, I am unable to sign it in its current form because the financial disclosure statements required to be filed in 2023 were due on April 30,” the governor said in a statement. “In other words, the deadline has passed and nearly all financial disclosure statements have been filed already.”
Murphy said extending the filing deadline and requiring workers to file new disclosures would be burdensome. If the Legislature concurs with his conditional veto, the new rules would go into effect for disclosures filed next year.
The bill, which both chambers approved on March 30, would amend the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law to allow local elected officials, zoning board members, members of non-state authorities, and certain senior public workers to leave the street addresses of their primary and secondary residences off of financial disclosures they must file annually with the state.
They would still be required to disclose the county and municipality where their property is.
The push to shield local officials’ addresses is part of a broader effort to block the release of home addresses of state lawmakers, judges, law enforcement officers, and child protective investigators. In February, the Legislature passed a resolution that allows them to keep their own addresses off financial disclosures.
In his conditional veto, Murphy said the level of disclosure required by the bill would be enough to ensure officials are complying with the Local Government Ethics Law, which requires addresses and descriptions of all properties the government officer or their family had a financial stake in during the previous calendar year.
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