TOMS RIVER, NJ – Last week, Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference with New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim to announce the release of a small portion of the CARES act funding to municipalities in New Jersey. Now, Republicans, except for Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman, who’s hunting deer in Kansas, are crying foul. It turns out that the $60,000,000 released by Murphy was not even 25% of the funding the Governor had previously promised.
In April, New Jersey received $2.4 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money, and six months later, Governor Murphy is just now releasing a small portion of the money to local governments. At a public event in Evesham Township in Burlington County that resembled a campaign photo-op for Democrat Congressman Andy Kim, Murphy said he was releasing $60 million to municipal governments, a drop in the bucket compared to what New Jersey towns have spent during the pandemic.
Kim, a staunch supporter of Nancy Pelosi and the “Squad” is facing a tough re-election campaign against CEO and businessman David Richter. Kim, who operated a radical left-wing anti-government organization prior to running for office is now trying to appeal to the public as a moderate, which he is not.
“The Governor sat on this money for six months. He originally proposed $250 million for local governments, and by August, he had downgraded the commitment to $120 million,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “Now, a half year later, we see the actual allotment is less than one quarter of what he promised, and he still has not made any meaningful money available to small businesses and nonprofits.
“This is a classic example of ‘too little, too late.’ The time when our municipalities desperately needed help was months ago, when they were struggling to reopen public facilities and needed help addressing unexpected revenue losses, increased cleaning and sanitizing expenses, and other costs related to reopening for business,” Kean said.
Senate Republicans immediately began calling on the Murphy to quickly distribute CARES Act funding to local governments back in April when Federal guidance made it clear that was not only possible but encouraged. The Murphy Administration, however, delayed and rejected efforts to help towns and businesses, and continue to hold onto the bulk of the $2.4 billion in the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
“The Governor’s delay of timely and meaningful help local governments was inexcusable,” Kean said. “It’s matched only by his failure to make substantial CARES Act funds available to businesses and nonprofits – more and more of which are giving up and closing their doors every day that help is denied them.”