N.J. lawmakers irked after HUD skimps on flood-protection grants

     New Jersey lawmakers are wondering why the state was awarded just $15 million -- while New York received more than $200 million -- for flood-protection efforts such as these dunes along Normandy Beach. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

    New Jersey lawmakers are wondering why the state was awarded just $15 million -- while New York received more than $200 million -- for flood-protection efforts such as these dunes along Normandy Beach. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

    New Jersey lawmakers are wondering just why the state got only $15 million in federal flood-protection grants while New York received more than $200 million.

    Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, questioned why the federal government didn’t alert New Jersey officials that the state’s application was deficient.

    “‘We can’t help you. We’re going to help New York more because they had better bureaucrats that did the application right.’

    “That’s wrong,” he said Thursday. “So you know what, there’s a big massive institutional failure.”

    The federal Housing and Urban Development Department is expected to soon release information about the problems with the state’s application.

    Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said lawmakers need those details so they can work with the Christie administration to make sure mistakes don’t happen again.

    “You know this isn’t the first time that we came up weak in an application process, and New Jersey’s economy cannot afford to pass up hundreds of millions of dollars over and over and over again,” he said.

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