ELIZABETH, N.J. (WCBS 880) — New Jersey lawmakers on Friday touted the billions of dollars that the state will be getting from the “American Rescue Plan” as a lifeline for the state.
“Help is truly on the way,” said Sen. Bob Menendez.
In the newly signed COVID-19 relief bill, New Jersey will receive more than $10 billion, and $6.4 billion of that money will be given directly to the state to help much of the middle class.
“This is a bill that is going to be going to the people, not wealthy corporations, not the wealthiest in this county,” said Sen. Cory Booker.
Menendez added that the direct stimulus payments will help those who have been struggling to pay bills and meet other expenses for months.
“Checks will average about $2,600 per household and reach the vast majority of New Jersey families,” the New Jersey senator said.
As part of the COVID relief bill, $3.5 billion will be directed to county and local governments in the state. In Elizabeth, where the press conference was held, the city will keep $40 million.
Mayor Chris Bolwage says the money will help immensely, noting that they’re in a fiscal crisis, like most other cities and states across the country.
“Our choice without this money is either very large tax increases or massive layoffs among emergency services personnel,” he said.
Groups of police officers and firefighters gathered outside Elizabeth’s Town Hall to show support for the legislation, which will now help many of them keep their jobs.
There's also money included in the bill for vaccine distribution, as President Joe Biden plans to open vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1.