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New Jersey Senate chambers in Trenton.

GOP lawmakers want Murphy to get permission before spending federal funds

By David Wildstein, April 27 2021 6:00 pm

Two Republican state senators want to stop Gov. Phil Murphy from spending federal stimulus and relief funds without the approval of the New Jersey Legislature.

Steve Oroho (R-Franklin) and Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) have introduced legislation, S-3712, that would strip Murphy of his executive authority to spend federal dollars by jettisoning language in the state budget that permits governors to appropriate emergency disaster aid and stimulus funding.

“Absent direct oversight, the governor has misused the authority entrusted to him through the budget to spend federal relief funds for the good of the state. He withheld billions in CARES Act funds from people who were desperate for help and diverted aid to subsidize his administration’s payroll instead of delivering relief,” Oroho said.  “It’s clear the Legislature must reassert itself as the co-equal branch of government responsible for appropriating funds and take the checkbook out of Governor Murphy’s hands.”

Oroho is the Senate Minority Budget Officer and Testa serves on the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“Left to his own devices, Governor Murphy will make that money disappear down the darkest holes of State government and New Jersey will have nothing to show for it,” said Testa, a first term senator from Cumberland County. “It’ll be like Brewster’s Millions, but with billions. After his failure with the CARES Act, we just can’t trust the governor to spend the next $6.5 billion of federal relief funds effectively.”

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