In the last few months of Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-FL) tenure (she is not seeking reelection), the Florida Congresswoman is calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to distribute the funds that were appropriated to the Sunshine State in President Joe Biden’s (D) American Rescue Plan Act last year. According to the Murphy team, the Governor has only just started to distribute the $35 million given.
According to a Murphy press release, the emergency relief funds are administered through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) to “provide direct cash aid to low-income families.”
“Your administration received TANF PEAF funds at a time when low-income Florida families were reeling from a year of crisis and economic turmoil, and were asking for help,” wrote Murphy. “While Congress answered that call for help, your administration did not distribute these much-needed funds to struggling Florida families for more than a year. Your administration has only recently announced a one-time TANF payment of $450 for nearly 59,000 Florida families, without noting that the payment was only possible because of the $35 million Florida received under ARPA, legislation which you have vocally opposed.”
Murphy sent a letter to the DeSantis administration asking the Governor a multitude of questions trying to understand his reasoning for the delay:
Why did your administration wait until July 2022-over one year-to start distributing emergency PEAF funds to hard-working low-income families?
How do you plan to ensure that all funds are distributed to Florida families by the expenditure deadline of September 30, 2022?
Why are you claiming for providing these funds, when they are federal funds made available by an Act of Congress you oppose?
Ron DeSantis will face former Florida Governor, Charlie Crist (D) on November 8th.