Republican budget members to Gov. Murphy: Why are you sitting on ARP money?
On the three-month anniversary of the State receiving $6.2 billion in COVID relief funding from the federal government, the four Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Thursday called on the Murphy Administration to stop the foot-dragging and put the money to work helping residents, as it was intended.
In a letter to the Governor and the Senate Democrat co-chairs of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC), Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), and Senator Michael Testa (R-1) criticized the Administration for only spending $316,000 or .005% of the money since it was received in May.
The Senators urged the Governor “to embrace a sense of urgency and put to use more than $1 billion of funds already authorized to be spent in the Appropriations Act.”
The letter stated, “Ending bureaucratic hurdles to getting money to people who need help should be a no-brainer. It’s an embarrassment that only $316,000 out of more than $6.2 billion has been put to use when the State received funds three months ago.”
In addition, the Senators called for the Joint Budget Committee to support a recent request by Senator Oroho and Assemblyman Wirths, in their capacity as members of the JBOC, to “meet as soon as possible to proactively provide guidance to the Governor on how best to put money to use, including authorizing funds to stabilize the unemployment insurance fund and avoid a recently announced $252 million tax increase on all employers.”