Murphy: NJ Needs $20 Billion in New Federal Aid

New Jersey’s $2.4 billion in federal CARES (Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act monies has either been spent or is “spoken for” via allocations, Gov. Phil Murphy said at today’s state press conference, as he pressed for an additional $20 billion in direct federal aid.

“We need another significant slug of direct, federal cash assistance,” Murphy said. “And, by the way, when I say significant, for New Jersey alone it is plus or minus $20 billion.”

“This $20 billion is [a] ‘gotta have’ to keep us solvent [and] delivering services” such as firefighters, police, educators, EMT and healthcare workers, Murphy said.

Murphy also said, “… I cannot express enough my level of frustration with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s inability to put together a relief bill that has any meaningful or significant direct assistance to states.”

At the State Level

Separately, Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature recently approved New Jersey to borrow $9.9 billion, a move that some critics say defies the 1947 State Constitution requiring that such borrowing first be approved by voters.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) commented on the borrowing on July 17, urging, in part, spending restraints. (NJBIA’s complete July 17 statement may be found here).

Remote Learning Educational Guidance

In other news, the New Jersey Department of Education released new, specific guidance today surrounding giving parents the option of educating their students entirely remotely, if they so choose, when the state’s schools eventually reopen.

Murphy said, in part, that ‘all-remote’ will also “decrease density” for those students who choose to attend school in person.

The guidance is divided into categories ranging from universal eligibility and policies and procedures, to communications, and quality of programming and data reporting, for example.

The state’s full guidance is available here.

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