The New Jersey Senate has failed in its effort to override Gov. Chris Christie’s conditional veto of the Superstorm Sandy “Bill of Rights” legislation.
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney pushed the measure, which was crafted by Democrats who were concerned over how the state has distributed aid. Sweeney said the measure would give plain language explanations of aid eligibility.
Christie said the bill proposed new administrative procedures and spending requirements accompanied by a “raft of partisan political findings.”
In March, the same bill passed the state Senate 34-0 with six senators not voting and the state Assembly 72-0 with eight members not voting. But the state Senate Republicans changed their minds and withdrew their support when it came to the override.
On Monday, the bill passed 24 to 14, three votes shy of the requirement for an override.
Christie and Republican lawmakers also said that some of the provisions violated federal law and regulations for distributing the aid, which comes from the federal government.
In a Senate floor debate on Monday, Sen. Jennifer Beck, a Republican from Red Bank, said that one provision automatically granting appeals to people denied funds whose appeals are not considered within 50 days could create a major problem. She said any money awarded that way could be ordered to be returned.
Republicans said that and other flaws should be fixed before a bill was adopted. Democrats said a provision that any part of the bill contrary to federal law would not be valid would cover the problem and that the bill should be adopted as-is.
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