(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) released the following statement after questioning the acting Department of Community Affairs commissioner about problems with Hurricane Irene relief funding at Wednesday’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing:
“Much attention has rightly been on helping Sandy victims, but we cannot forget that Hurricane Irene in 2011 was the seventh costliest hurricane in United States history, especially in Passaic County, which was hit hard.
“New Jersey received about $15.6 million in federal block grant funding for Irene relief efforts, with Passaic County eligible for 80 percent of it.
“I’m deeply troubled to hear that much of the Irene money for Passaic County apparently still hasn’t been spent nearly four years after the storm. I was even more troubled when I could get no clear answer from the Christie administration as to why the money hasn’t been spent. And this is with the state receiving close to $780,000 to administer the money.
“When considered with the Sandy relief problems, a very disturbing pattern is emerging, one that calls into question the Christie administration’s commitment to helping victims of these storms.”