On Monday, Governor Murphy signed into law A-3971/S-2475, reflecting both the initial intent of the legislation and his recommended changes made through a previous conditional veto. This new law will allow municipalities and counties to issue a special emergency appropriation for the loss of revenue and/or unanticipated expenses directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic with appropriate safeguards and Local Finance Board oversight.
In addition, P.L. 2020, c. 74 permits the Division of Local Government Services to issue guidance on the calculation of anticipated revenue for the 2021 budget year. It also permits a local unit or board of education to issue refunding bonds for the repayment of a Federal Emergency Management Agency Community Disaster Loan program executed by a promissory note in 2013.
We anticipate guidance on the approach from the Division of Local Government Services shortly. We understand that operating deficits will include documented COVID-19 revenue loss or over expenditures. Municipalities will need to show their operational gap, but will not need to deplete surplus to take advantage of this limited special emergency tool.
We thank the Governor, Senators Singleton, Gopal, and Scutari, Assemblyman Benson, Assemblyman DeAngelo, Assemblywoman DeCroce, and Speaker Coughlin for partnering with the League and other interested parties in forging this compromise. It is providing local governments with much needed financial flexibility in response to the pandemic.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, 609-695-3481, x112.