TRENTON – Lawmakers approved a bill to restore $139 million in transitional aid to 11 New Jersey cities yesterday, and Gov. Chris Christie has pledged to sign it.
“My signature on the transitional aid bill is now guaranteed with the Legislature’s recognition that much needed aid for our urban cities must go hand in hand with commonsense and permanent oversight — something the taxpayers of New Jersey demand and deserve,” Christie said in a statement last night. “This legislation will finally make permanent the ongoing rigorous accountability this administration has already been applying to transitional aid in order to prevent abuse and waste. I want to thank the Legislature for working with us to get this done so that this vitally important aid is delivered to our cities that need it most.”
Christie used his line item veto power to remove all by $10 million in transitional aid from the state budget passed in June, objecting to Democrats removing a provision that one percent of the total be designated for oversight.
In the bill passed Thursday, Democrats added $1.5 million to the original appropriation to cover the cost of supervision. The state Senate voted 35-4 in favor of the bill, and the Assembly passed it 53-16.
Camden will receive the largest portion of the money – $61.4 million – while Trenton, Paterson, Union City, Asbury Park, Lawnside, Chesilhurst, Harrison, Maurice River, Penns Grove and Prospect Park will also get aid.
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