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On July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy signed the Permit Extension Act of 2020, P.L. 2020, c.53 (“Chapter 53”) into law. The legislature crafted Chapter 53 as a policy response to the economic malaise caused by the COVID-19 crisis. By way of background, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed a previous iteration of the law in June. Chapter 53 benefits businesses and developers by automatically extending various governmental approvals during the pendency of the crisis. The law also provides a relaxation for municipal action related to various deadlines under the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). However, and as will be discussed below, there is language in Chapter 53 that detracts from that goal.

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