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Connors, Rumpf & Gove

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Connors, Rumpf & Gove Outraged by Christie Veto of Superstorm Sandy Clawback Bill

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As representatives of a legislative district that’s among those hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove conveyed outrage and empathy for affected Sandy victims in response to Governor Christie’s refusal to sign the Superstorm Sandy clawback bill.

Aerial view during an Army search and rescue mission shows damage from Superstorm Sandy to the New Jersey coast, Oct. 30, 2012. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

The intent of the legislative policy initiative (A-4784/S-3149), which passed both houses of the Legislature, was to address circumstances in which Superstorm Sandy victims are required to refund overpayments, known as “clawbacks,” in Sandy assistance aid. Each member of the 9th District delegation joined as cosponsors on the bill that was introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15).

The members of the 9th District delegation issued the following statement regarding Governor’s Christie’s pocket veto of the Sandy clawback bill:

“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.

“It became readily apparent that corrective action was required in the face of what many viewed as the unacceptable practices of a callous bureaucratic process that wasn’t offering alternatives – just ultimatums – to those with legitimate grievances and hardships.

“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.

“Making this situation all the more egregious is the very fact that amendments to the bill offered by the Christie Administration through the New Jersey Department of Community and Urban Affairs were adopted by the Legislature in an act of good faith by legislators advocating on behalf of Sandy victims.

“Throughout the legislative process, our delegation relied heavily on the invaluable input and expertise of the New Jersey Organizing Project which has worked tirelessly to assist Sandy victims trying to stave off financial ruin and get back in their homes.

“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.”

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