(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) to require oversight reporting on Hurricane Sandy recovery funds was approved Monday by the General Assembly.
“There have been questions raised about how effectively recovery funding has been used,” said Oliver. “Residents affected by Sandy should be able to trust that funds slated for recovery are being used properly. This bill adds some transparency to the process, and ensures that Hurricane Sandy recovery funding is administered adequately and in the best interest of those affected by the storm.”
“According to a report by the Fair Share Housing Center, African-American and Latino families affected by the storm have been disproportionately denied relief distribution. This is problem,” said Watson Coleman. “We must ensure that all residents affected by Sandy are getting the assistance they need. This bill provides the proper oversight necessary to ensure this is done.”
The bill (A-4591) requires the State Treasurer to issue New Jersey’s Comprehensive Hurricane Sandy Recovery Funding Report. The report must address:
- the amount and manner of recovery funding receipt;
- the processes by which recovery funding is distributed;
- operating plans for recovery funding projects and administration;
- the award of state grants or contracts using recovery funding;
- analysis of whether recovery funding is achieving its objectives;
- recovery funding job creation through State administered projects;
- recommendations for enhanced efficiency, transparency, and coordination in the administration of recovery funding;
- the distribution of recovery funding by county and municipality; and
- any other information the State Treasurer deems relevant to the transparent administration of recovery funding.
The report would be due on April 1, 2014, with updated issues of the report due every ninety days thereafter until all Hurricane Sandy recovery funding has been spent and reported.
The bill would be effective immediately.
The bill was approved 80-0 by the Assembly and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.