9th District Delegation, NJ Organizing Project Among Those Outraged by Christie’s Veto of ‘Superstorm Sandy Clawback Bill’

Jan 24, 2018

Prior to leaving office earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie signed more than 100 bills into law. To the disappointment of many New Jersey residents, A-4784/S-3149, the “Superstorm Sandy Clawback Bill,” was not one of them.

State Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th Legislative District expressed their ire over the pocket veto of the bill, which aimed to address circumstances in which Sandy victims are required to refund overpayments – or “clawbacks” – in storm recovery aid.

The 9th District legislators, whose constituents were among the hardest hit by Sandy, were all cosponsors on the bill, introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15th).

“For those Sandy victims who’ve had too many sleepless nights contending with an endless bureaucratic nightmare, we worked together with the New Jersey Organizing Project to advance this legislation with the intent of providing the necessary assistance, including mediation, to help resolve clawback cases,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “As representatives of a legislative district in which thousands were displaced by the catastrophic damage, we are outraged that Governor Christie pocket vetoed the clawback bill and failed to extend this needed lifeline to affected Sandy victims.”

“We are just as outraged as N.J.’s 9th Legislative District, but not surprised by the pocket veto of the Sandy Clawback Bill,” the New Jersey Organizing Project wrote on its Facebook page. As the page explains, the grassroots nonprofit is comprised of individuals working “to pass policies that help the region, change institutions, hold corporations accountable and ensure elected officials stand with us. We engage in community-powered solutions for a full and fair Sandy recovery, economic security and dignity for all of us, and fight so our communities can prepare for sea level rise, extreme weather and future storms.”

The organization thanked the 9th District delegation for its leadership, and stated, “We will all work together to get another clawback bill passed and end this nightmare for Sandy-impacted families.

“We’ve been here before and won’t be deterred by this setback. We’ll get to work on reintroducing new legislation with the hope our new governor will sign it.”

As the lawmakers remarked, “Moving forward, we are prepared to work with the New Jersey Organizing Project, our legislative colleagues and the new administration to assist Sandy victims, including clawback cases, so these individuals can move on with their lives.” —J.K.-H.

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