Insider NJ

New Jersey Citizen Action Backs Governor Murphy's COVID-19 Bond Proposal, Calls On State Legislature For Support

Insider NJ — April 16, 2020

Highland Park — New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) strongly supports Governor Murphy's proposed New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act, which would authorize the issue general-obligation bonds and emergency liquidity notes and apply for loans from the federal government to meet New Jersey's burgeoning fiscal needs during the global pandemic. The borrowing would be repaid with sales taxes, with a guarantee that the sales tax levy would increase if needed. The state constitution allows for the issuance of such bonds under "an emergency caused by disaster or act of God."

The pandemic has killed thousands of New Jerseyans, put hundreds of thousands more out of work and sparked a financial and economic crisis that will likely cost New Jersey several billion dollars of revenue at a time when millions of residents need critical state services without delay. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has stated he's not inclined the support the emergency bond, but NJCA urged the entire State Legislature to back the Governor's proposal.

"We simply can't survive this pandemic without an immediate infusion of new, robust sources of revenue," said Dena Mottola Jaborska, NJCA Associate Director. "New Jersey was already stretched financially before COVID-19, but right now we're facing complete economic ruin. Without new revenue we can't deliver on the promise of $100 million in rental relief legislation that Senate President Sweeney sponsored. Without new revenue we won't have sufficient funding for unemployment relief, for small business relief, and to run the state services millions of residents are clamoring for daily. This is a health and economic crisis that we can't depend on the federal government alone to bail us out of. We'll need another federal stimulus bill and new state revenues to ensure all New Jersey families can cope and fully recover. We urge Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and the entire Legislature to work with Governor Murphy to adopt this proposal without delay. Too many millions of New Jerseyans can't wait another day for relief."

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