Governor Murphy Announces $60 Million in Coronavirus Emergency Relief Funds for Counties and Local Governments
EVESHAM, NJ (STL.News) Governor Phil Murphy today, alongside Congressman Andy Kim and Congressman Donald Norcross, announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted county and local governments in New Jersey, and they are facing increased costs in health benefits, health and human services, public safety, overtime, equipment, and supply expenditures. These relief funds will help to address necessary and unexpected expenditures necessitated by the pandemic.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) is also providing up to $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to support the state’s County Boards of Social Services with COVID-related expenses such as technology to adapt to remote work, expanding to meet growing demand, and supplies and materials to meet COVID-19 health and safety standards.
“Local governments have stepped up to meet the needs of their communities throughout this pandemic, and we are strengthening their efforts today with $60 million dollars in direct relief,” said Governor Murphy. “We know these funds will be a welcome lifeline of support for essential government services and New Jersey’s taxpayers.”
“This CRF funding is going to make a world of difference for short- and long-term municipal recovery efforts,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “DCA will work to distribute this relief funding equitably and fairly to our communities as we rebuild the State’s economy. No one will be left behind.”
“Our state has been hit hard by this crisis, and we need to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe and healthy,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I’m proud to have voted to help deliver this funding back home, but the work isn’t done. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in Congress to find bipartisan solutions that will help New Jersey, and won’t stop pressing until this pandemic is over and working people are back on their feet.”
“The CARES Act has delivered critical federal resources to our state, and distributing this CRF funding to those county and local governments who have yet to receive relief will have a profound impact,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “These resources will provide our local governments with the vital funding needed to help cover unexpected costs from the pandemic and keep our first responders and other essential workers safe and on the job. I’ll continue to fight for New Jersey in Congress to ensure our communities get the tools and supplies we need to combat this outbreak and keep residents healthy and secure.”
“The County Boards of Social Services have been on the front lines supporting New Jersey residents enrolling in vital assistance programs like Medicaid, NJ SNAP and Income Assistance Benefits,” said DHS Commissioner Carole Johnson. “The dollars will provide much needed support as they continue to respond to the needs of New Jerseyans during the ongoing pandemic.”
“Just like our County government has made it our priority to help our residents through the pandemic, leaders like Gov. Murphy have made sure that Burlington County and our local governments aren’t battling coronavirus by ourselves or leaving it to our property taxpayers to foot the bill for the response,” said Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Tom Pullion. “We are incredibly grateful for his leadership and the assistance his administration is providing. With all levels of government working together, I know we can defeat this virus.”
“We are incredibly proud that our state took the time to ensure that federal money provided for coronavirus relief would make it all 21 counties in this state and we look forward to how this money will aid in our great towns recovery,” said Evesham Township Mayor Jaclyn Veasy.
Qualifying expenditures for the Local Government Emergency Fund include public safety and health-related expenses, COVID-19-related overtime, increased residential and health-related garbage collection and services, remote working technology, signage and information technology related to the COVID-19 response and recovery, and public health-related retrofit expenses for reopening.
The Local Government Emergency Fund allocation formula uses a variety of relevant metrics, including the municipal COVID-19 infection rate, fiscal stress, the Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI), population, and public safety and health and human services expenditures share of the budget to determine the amount of funds counties and municipalities receive.
Funds awarded may not be used for government revenue replacement, including the provision of assistance to meet tax obligations. Eligible expenditures must be incurred during the covered period between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
NOTE: this is NOT the complete release.