As nations around the world implement sanctions against Russia, states are following suit. New Jersey can now ban commercial relations with the country, under a bill introduced on Monday.
The bill, which was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, would make individuals or companies with ties to Russia and Belarus ineligible for various trade deals with the government. The state joins a long list of countries implementing such sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.
Under the bill, New Jersey also cannot invest pension or annuity funds, engage in banking, or hold stock, debt, or other equity investments in corporations or financial institutions. related to Russia or Belarus.
“We must target Russia’s economic pressure points to make them pay the price for launching a war of aggression against a free people and the democratically elected government of Ukraine,” said Senator Paul Sarlo, D- Wood-Ridge, who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement. Sarlo said New Jersey would be the first state to do so.
The bill would ineligible individuals determined to associate with Russia or Belarus and placed on a list created by the Treasury Department to:
- bidding or renewing contracts with public bodies.
- file or renew the registrations of public works contractors.
- receive economic development grants from the Economic Development Authority.
- obtain certificates of receipt from the Tax Division.
- be certified by the Department of Community Affairs as an urban renewal entity.
- be designated as a redeveloper by a public body.
The committee unanimously approved the bill sponsored by Sarlo and Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. It still needs to be approved by the Senate and Assembly before reaching Governor Phil Murphy’s office.
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Murphy tweeted his support for Ukraine on Saturday, saying “the past few days the people of Ukraine have shown that they will not bow to thugs like Vladimir Putin.”
President Joe Biden has imposed sanctions in partnership with allies around the world, including the European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.
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These sanctions range from banking and investment bans to asset freezes against Russian leaders, oligarchs and their families. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed restrictions on Russia’s two largest banks and nearly 90 subsidiaries of financial institutions around the world.
Sanctions have been imposed on Russian elites and their families, as well as bans on new debt and equity from large Russian state-owned companies and large private financial institutions. The US government and its allies have decided to block certain Russian banks’ access to SWIFT, an international payment system. President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are also barred from all assets within reach of US officials, and no one in the United States is allowed to do business with them.
Katie Sobko is a reporter at the New Jersey Statehouse. For unlimited access to his work covering the governor of New Jersey and the political power structure, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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