At his final COVID-19 press briefing before Christmas, Gov. Phil Murphy urged President Trump to sign the $908 billion COVID-relief bill that passed Congress earlier this week.
“I urge the president to sign the stimulus bill that is on his desk, so an estimated 500,000 New Jerseyans aren’t left without vital unemployment benefits at the end of this week,” Murphy said.
However, he added that despite the $908 billion within the bill, it still provides just a “fraction of what [New Jersey] needs.”
“Folks need more money, unemployment benefits need to be extended longer, and small businesses and restaurants need even more support than what is in that bill,” Murphy added. “If the president wants to give people more money, I am all for that… but please Mr. President, sign this bill and then get right back at it with Congress to find more of that money.”
So far, New Jersey workers impacted by the pandemic have now received a total of $20.2 billion in unemployment benefits according to the Department of Labor (DOL). The number of new initial unemployment claims increased slightly from last week in New Jersey, with just under 1,300 new claims statewide.
Additionally, at the end of last week, the DOL processed another round of FEMA Lost Wages Assistance payments to approximately 18,000 newly eligible claimants. According to Murphy, those payments should be received in the “coming days.”
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