Seeking Sandy-aid Fairness for NJ [POLL/AUDIO]
Is New Jersey getting the short end of the stick when it comes to Superstorm Sandy aid doled out by the federal government?
One Garden State lawmaker believes the answer is yes, and he's calling on Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald to reach out to the federal government to correct the inequities, and streamline the Sandy aid process.
"A huge problem with Sandy aid is the disproportionate treatment and unfair treatment of New Jersey versus New York," said Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Red Bank). "They had about 15 percent, 14 or 15 percent more damage; they're getting 125 percent more aid. What the hell is going on with that?"
O'Scanlon said New Jersey had $37 billion in losses, while New York had $42 billion.
"We're getting $3.2 billion in aid, they're getting over $7 billion in aid, they're getting 125 percent more," he said. "There's definitely something wrong with that equation."
O'Scanlon also wants the feds to cut bureaucratic red tape that's slowing down Sandy aid from reaching those who need it the most.
"We've done a lot, we've gotten a lot done, but the people that are not yet back in their homes don't really care, because they're not back in their homes," he said. "We want to prevent fraud, but if the rules we have in place so paralyze the system that you can't even help the people that really need it, that's one big problem."
The bottom line, O'Scanlon said, is that the current situation is "unfair and outrageous to all people of New Jersey, and lawmakers should be banging on the doors at (Washington) D.C. saying, 'Fix this.' If someone has a logical explanation for it, I'm willing to listen to it. I don't think there is one."