Sweeney tries to override Christie veto of ‘Sandy Bill of Rights’

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is trying to resurrect a piece of legislation he says would provide better transparency after Superstorm Sandy.


Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the Sandy Bill of Rights earlier this month, saying the bill was partisan, expensive, and would slow the distribution of relief funds.

Sweeney, D-Gloucester, counters that the bill is “common sense.” He says people should know where they are on wait lists for funding or why they were rejected for grants. Speaking Thursday in Manasquan, he called on legislators – who overwhelmingly approved the bill – to override Christie’s veto.

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“We had all the Democrats vote for it, we had all the Republicans vote for it,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s the same bill.”

Sweeney needs two-thirds of both houses to override the veto, but he will begin by trying to convince three Republican senators to cross party lines and approve the override before sending it to the Assembly.

“We don’t want the Republicans to be able to hide on this,” he said. “They shouldn’t hide on it, they voted on it, they know it’s the right thing to do.”

Thus far, lawmakers have never overturned a bill Christie has vetoed.

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