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Norcross/Sarlo Bill To Restore Aid To Struggling Cities Clears Senate Committee

Measure to Provide $139M In Essential ‘Transitional Aid’ Heads to Full Senate

TRENTON – Legislation Senators Donald Norcross and Paul Sarlo sponsored to restore $139 million in critical aid for struggling urban areas line-item vetoed by the governor in June was today released by the Senate Budget and Appropriations committee by a bipartisan vote and sent to the Senate floor for final action.

In addition to restoring the $139 million in aid, the bill also would provide $1.5 million to the Department of Community Affairs for oversight purposes.

“Providing this aid means that our hardest-hit urban areas will live to see another day, that police, fire and other vital services won’t have to be cut further and that residents can continue to hope for a better future,” said Norcross (D-Camden). “This aid is an absolute lifeline for communities that have nowhere else to turn. Today we are a step closer to correcting a problem that should have never been created.”

“Without this aid, cities already teetering on the edge of fiscal and societal disaster could fall off the cliff entirely, which would have a domino effect across the rest of the state,” said Sarlo (D-Bergen). “Failure to restore this funding would cost far more in terms of lives and property lost to crime and the evaporation of any hope of urban economic revitalization. This compromise proves once again how important it is for government to stop acting rashly and start working cooperatively.”

The Senate President has already signaled that the measure will receive a final vote in the full Senate on Dec 15.