(The Center Square) – A Republican lawmaker wants Gov. Phil Murphy to clarify how much New Jersey borrowed to finance its unemployment insurance fund.
According to State Senator Sam Thompson, R-Old Bridge, the state borrows about $ 10 million per day from the federal government. The loan has an interest rate of 2.3%.
According to the Direct Treasury, the state borrowed $ 299.1 million from the federal government for the unemployment fund, including $ 132.7 million this month.
“New Jersey is going into debt at an alarming rate, and Murphy’s only plan is to pass the cost on to employers, many of whom are barely surviving in the COVID economy,” said Thompson, a member of the Senate Budget and Committee. credits. in a press release. “This is a dangerous tax system that could bankrupt countless small and medium-sized businesses and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. It is reckless and unjustifiable.
New Jersey businesses could pay about $ 885 million in additional unemployment insurance (AC) over three years, including an increase of $ 252 million starting in October. Republican lawmakers want Murphy to use federal US bailout money (ARP) to avoid the increase.
A spokesperson for Thompson told The Center Square that more than 40 states have used ARP dollars to stabilize their unemployment insurance funds.
“This outrageous borrowing was only made necessary because of Murphy’s refusal to use some of the billions of dollars New Jersey received in federal pandemic relief funds to maintain the solvency of the unemployment fund. Thompson added. “Almost every other state with high unemployment has used federal funds to avoid borrowing money to pay unemployment claims. New Jersey is once again racking up debts that it will force taxpayers to pay off through tax increases. “
Between $ 2 billion and $ 2.5 billion of the $ 6.2 billion in ARP funds New Jersey received has been “talked about,” Murphy said previously. However, Republicans, citing figures from the Office of Legislative Services (OLS), say a small chunk of the money has been spent.
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development said the agency paid nearly $ 35 billion in unemployment insurance benefits to 1.6 million claimants between March 2020 and the week ending September 4. Payments.
Murphy’s spokespersons did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Center Square. The governor has already refused to commit to use federal money to avoid a New Jersey small business tax increase to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance fund.