New Jersey may change how it distributes disaster aid

 The view of storm damage over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (Doug Mills/AP Photo, Pool)

The view of storm damage over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (Doug Mills/AP Photo, Pool)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering some new rules for how the state distributes disaster aid. A bill passed by the state Assembly would require the governor to allocate federal and state relief for future disasters in proportion to the damage in each town.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo says some residents displaced from their homes by Superstorm Sandy have still not received any grant money while money was given to hotel and condominium projects in areas that did not have significant storm damage. “What we’re trying to do is set a blueprint going forward that if god forbid a disaster comes our way again that we can expedite money to where it really needs to be put.”

Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll says the bill is well intentioned but federal law requires a certain percentage of disaster aid the state receives go to people of relatively modest means. “The percentage of low and moderate income might not jive with the percentage of damage.

The bill is still awaiting action in the Senate and there’s no indication whether Governor Christie would sign it.

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