TRENTON – Due to the influx of federal dollars entering the state to clean up and repair areas destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, Senator Jim Whelan has sponsored legislation that would protect taxpayer dollars by ensuring greater transparency of lobbying efforts aimed at influencing local government activities. The bill was unanimously approved today by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.
The bill is in response to recent reports that AshBritt – a firm contracted by the Christie Administration for debris-removal post Sandy – has hired lobbyists and political consultants to win contracts with 43 local governments for storm cleanup.
“Hurricane Sandy left thousands of residents and towns across the state scrambling to clean up, repair and rebuild damaged property. In the hopes to return to a sense of normalcy, these repairs are happening quickly, but it is imperative that we do not allow this process to be controlled by those with the biggest pocket books and the most political connections,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic, Chairman of the Committee. “Instead, clean up and rebuilding should be done by the most-qualified organizations who can effectively and efficiently use public and taxpayer funds.”