Looming federal cuts could slice Sandy aid to N.J. Shore towns
February 25, 2013By Phil Gregory
A sequestration measure requiring across-the-board federal spending cuts will take effect Friday unless lawmakers act to avoid it. Allowing the cuts to proceed could reduce Sandy aid to New Jersey, and officials along the Shore are worried.
As much as $3 billion could be cut from the Sandy funding that Congress approved last month.
"We're obviously very worried about our ability to balance a budget locally without a community disaster loan, which is a program potentially affected by the sequester," says Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long.
Residents struggling to rebuild are also upset about the potential reduction in federal aid, adds Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers.
"They haven't had a way to receive that money or a time frame to receive it in," he said Monday. "So this is just adding to the frustration that has already existed."
Congressman Bill Pascrell, who says sequestration would be a fiscal hurricane for the people devastated by Sandy, said he's hoping lawmakers can agree on a plan that would spare Sandy victims from further suffering.