(The Center Square) – New Jersey ranks better than some states but worse than others when disclosing its federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act spending.
According to a report from Washington-based Good Jobs First, New Jersey was one of 27 states that fell into the “States with Some Disclosure.” Only six states fell into the “Exemplary States” category, while 18 fell into the category of “States with Inadequate or No Disclosure.”
The report included the District of Columbia in its list.
The report found the state’s website – nj.gov/covid19oversight/index.shtml – was easily accessible and included agency and fund allocations. However, the report noted the state’s site does not include recipient information or spending descriptions.
According to the state site, New Jersey’s executive branch agencies have received more than $48.3 billion in federal funds under Section 15011 of the CARES Act.
The state Department of Labor received more than half of the funds, $26.1 billion, followed by the Department of the Treasury, which took in more than $9.3 billion. The state has allocated nearly $35.1 billion of the federal taxpayer dollars.
When it comes to American Rescue Plan (ARP) money, the state received more than $6.2 billion via the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund and has spent about $67.8 million, roughly 1% of the money allocated. Republicans have blasted Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, for not proactively allocating federal COVID relief money.
“Unfortunately, months have been wasted, taxes have been raised on small businesses, and New Jersey now has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the nation,” state Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex, said in a statement last month.
“All of that could have and should have been prevented,” Oroho added. “The Murphy administration can’t undo the harm that’s already been done, but it can work to enact a comprehensive plan as we’ve proposed using the billions in relief funds that are still available.”