Sweeney, Kean Commit Senate to Working Together to Implement Long-Term Solutions to Storm-Related Crises
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Republican Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. today committed to having the Senate work on a bipartisan basis on potential legislative solutions to the crises that have been exposed as a result of the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
“Whenever a crisis hits, the nature of politics is to always want to rush out of the gate when what New Jerseyans need most is unified leadership,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “The challenges facing our state require us to work as one Legislature. If the past fourteen months have showed us one thing, it’s that powerful storms may be a regular part of life in New Jersey. And the challenges they pose require an equally powerful response, and that will be best delivered across party lines and without regard to headlines.”
“The profound loss our state has suffered demands that we learn from this experience,” said Kean (R-Union). “The public expects and deserves a response to this crisis that moves heaven and earth to make things right – and that includes us preparing for the next storm. Chasing emotion and anger rarely solves the problem. If there are ways we can be better prepared to ensure as little disruption to New Jerseyans’ lives as possible, we need to know about them and implement them promptly on a bipartisan basis.”
Sweeney and Kean said their full attention is currently focused on the cleanup efforts in communities hit hardest by the storm and the efforts to restore power to residents. They said they will begin to move forward in the coming weeks to convene legislative hearings on ways the state can be better prepared in future crises, including but not limited to:
- Effectiveness and notification of local power restoration efforts;
- Alleviation of potential fuel crises and other shortages;
- Ensuring power to medical facilities, such as dialysis centers;
- Coordinated preparedness for senior housing facilities and other vulnerable residents;
- Examining ways to deter looting and storm related fraud;
- Assessing the current regulatory framework affecting recovery efforts.