The federal coronavirus relief act, CARES, provides money that is supposed to be allocated to struggling New Jersey residents and businesses. New Jersey is welcome and entitled to it.

Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt is accusing Gov. Phil Murphy of withholding almost $2 billion of it that so many in the state so desperately need.

“Governor Murphy is sitting on a nearly $2 billion mountain of money that could save New Jersey small businesses, and he’s lying to all of us about it,” Steinhardt says, according to an article on He continued, “Murphy is hoarding it hoping he can use it to balance his bloated budget.”

This money, the article says, is available to help regular New Jerseyans but the governor is upset about conditions that the feds have put on how the money may be spent. But remember, it’s supposed to go to people who are directly affected by this crisis, not to plug budget holes.

In response to the accusation, rather than quelling any doubt, Murphy spokesman Darryl Isherwood created even more suspicion with his answer to the accusation. He said, according the piece, “Without changes to the guidance and additional federal aid, we will continue to have a massive budget hole that needs to be filled or we face a host of cuts in state spending.” What would be wrong with cuts in state spending? We’ve all had to cut back throughout the COVID-19 crisis. And they blow too much of our money anyway! “With that in mind we have sought additional flexibility in how CARES Act funds can be spent,” Isherwood continued.

Hm. Flexibility? What would NJ want to spend CARES money on besides people and businesses that are suffering? Could it be to plug budget holes that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 shutdown and everything to do with big government and it’s programs?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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