Press Release
Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano 10th District
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Contact: Erin Darreff / (609) 847-3600
June 15, 2020
Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Resolution To Forgive Superstorm Sandy Federal Relief Aid Approved by Senate

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A concurrent resolution sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) urging the President and Congress to enact legislation forgiving certain community disaster loans issued after Superstorm Sandy been approved by the Senate.

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano resolution urging the federal government to enact legislation forgiving certain community disaster loans issued after Superstorm Sandy been approved by the State Senate. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

SCR-111 echoes Congressman Chris Smith’s federal legislation, H.R. 6454, a bill that would mandate the forgiveness of certain community disaster loans secured by New Jersey municipalities from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with Superstorm Sandy recovery.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the lawmakers agree with Congressman Smith’s effort to help the State’s residents and businesses during the pandemic. This federal resolution would have a profound impact throughout New Jersey in helping to stabilize the economy, and would provide much needed support to the citizens of New Jersey in the fight against COVID-19.

“The swift passage of this measure in the Senate brings this resolution one step closer to providing some financial relief during this difficult time,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “In 2012, our district was one of the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. While I have no doubt we will recover from this pandemic and come back stronger than before, we must provide some relief to our residents at this time.”

Recently, FEMA has begun to press New Jersey municipalities to start repaying the loans given out to residents and businesses to help the State’s post-Superstorm Sandy recovery.

This mandatory repayment would have a devastating effect throughout the State, as these demands come at a time when New Jersey is struggling to fight COVID-19, the legislators said. The payments on the community disaster loans were originally allowed to be paid back slowly over time, with the possibility of forgiveness.

“It’s been almost eight years since Superstorm Sandy and our residents are still feeling the financial impact of that natural disaster,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “Repaying this debt to FEMA is nearly impossible at a time like this. Our legislation urges Congress and the President to forgive these loans and begin to get our state’s economy back on track.”

Currently, New Jersey residents who were granted loans under the “Small Business Act” now face the possibility they may be prohibited from receiving further disaster relief aid during the COVID-19 pandemic since any new grant issued may be counted as a duplicate benefit. The bill also addresses the lingering duplication of benefit problem by removing the receipt of small business loans as a disqualifier for people who sought or received federal money to help them recover in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

“We agree with Congressman Smith’s proposal to forgive loans and ensure that small businesses in our State can apply for federal relief without the fear of being excluded,” concluded Assemblyman Catalano. “These are unprecedented times and we feel federal loans issued after Superstorm Sandy can and should be forgiven. In order to get our economy running again, it starts with small businesses and their employees who deserve better.”

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