With $6B on the way, lawmakers want a say on spending

John Reitmeyer | March 29, 2021 | NJ Spotlight |

 

Gov. Phil Murphy has made all the decisions on federal COVID-19 funding. Democrats, Republicans hint at ending that

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has largely managed the initial rounds of federal COVID-19 funding, echoing the governor’s broader approach to the pandemic itself, which has been dominated by the executive branch and a series of ongoing executive orders.

But last week, lawmakers easily approved on a bipartisan basis a series of bills that call for using roughly $100 million in federal aid for specific purposes related to the state’s ongoing response to the health crisis.

They include earmarking more aid for businesses, including bars and restaurants that have been hit particularly hard in recent months, as well as for food banks and other nonprofit organizations.

It remains to be seen whether Murphy will agree with any of those spending proposals, but the bills themselves demonstrate the interest by lawmakers from both parties in getting off the sidelines when it comes to the distribution of federal aid.

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