the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Trenton NJ, Governor Phil Murphy is scheduled to visit the White House this morning to meet with President Donald Trump as New Jersey seeks federal help to cope with the health and economic crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Murphy and several other governors are asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid for state and local governments to help balance budgets in the face of untold lost tax revenue because of the virus. The bipartisan National Governors Association is asking Congress to approve $500 billion in aid.
Murphy has warned and the Ridgewood blog reported of mass public-worker layoffs in New Jersey if that doesn’t happen.On Wednesday, no surprise the credit-rating agency S&P Global Ratings revised the state’s credit outlook to negative.
“We’re desperately in need of money,” Governor Murphy said during his daily press briefing earlier in the day, while also stressing that all states, not just Democratic-leaning ones, need funds.
According to the Trump Administration ,New Jersey already received $18 billion in federal assistance, but the U.S. Treasury Department said the money could be used for only for coronavirus-related expenses. Murphy of course says he also hopes to have those guidelines relaxed.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said states that had poorly managed budgets before the Covid-19 outbreak sent their economies reeling should not be rescued by the federal government.
“This isn’t just going to be a federal bailout of the states,” Mnuchin said early Tuesday on CNBC. “States that had specifically large expenses because of the coronavirus, like New York and New Jersey, it was the right thing that the federal government gave them money.”
He said he approves of local governments using coronavirus funding to enforce public safety through law enforcement, but not for revenue lost because of the economic shutdown or “states that were mismanaged” before the pandemic hit.
President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to align himself with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said Congress shouldn’t debate relief to cash-strapped states until lawmakers reconvene next week.
In a Monday morning tweet, Trump echoed controversial comments made last week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who insisted that hard-hit states like New York declare bankruptcy rather than receive federal aid.
“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?”