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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy won’t say if state willing to pick up tab for National Guard deployments

Governor continues to urge Trump to extend deployments past June 24

By Nikita Biryukov, May 21 2020 2:38 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy declined to say whether the state would foot the bill for the continued deployment of more than 1,000 members of the national guard if President Donald Trump’s Administration denies an extension the governor requested earlier this week.

“Listen, we’re still hopeful that we’ll get that extension,” Murphy said. “George Helmy was on with the White House this morning on this explicit topic, but having said that, we’re going to have to figure out a way to continue to surge in these facilities. How we pay for it — I’m hoping the feds will pay.”

Hundreds of members of the New Jersey National Guard have been deployed to retirement and veterans homes in the state in an attempt to safeguard those most susceptible to COVID-19.

A Trump administration order would end those deployments on June 24, just one day before many members become eligible for early retirement and education benefits.

On Thursday, every member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation — including the state’s two Republican congressman and both of New Jersey’s U.S. Senators — sent a letter imploring Trump to extend the deployment.

“We have not come close to giving up on that,” Murphy said.

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