amy-h-handlinBy TOM HESTER

Are you up to dealing with the state government first thing in the morning?

Well, if you need its help, 13th-district Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and her aides will try to provide it at the Middletown train station next Tuesday morning.

Handlin, a Middletown Republican, says her on-site ‘Help Desks’ are for residents having difficulty with state agencies or with questions regarding state government.

Handlin claims to be the first legislator to bring government to commuters, and says the idea was prompted by an exponential increase in the number of calls to her office in recent months.

“We have helped hundreds of residents, but more and more citizens are unable to speak with us during normal business hours,” she says. “Instead of expecting a commuter to take time out of a hectic day to come to us, we will go to them.”

Handlin says she and her staff will attempt to provide on-the-spot troubleshooting, discuss legislation and the status of various bills and state initiatives, help people having difficulty with the state Motor Vehicle Commission, Board of Public Utilities or other agencies, or help them contact state or local government.

“My staff and I will answer questions or arrange to personally reach out at a time that is convenient for the individual,” she says. “We will work on their behalf until their situation is resolved.

“There is a perception that state government is made up of nameless, faceless bureaucrats not accessible to anyone.  However, my staff and I are accessible to them.  We have names and faces they can remember and use time and again.”

The initial Help Desk can be found  at the Middletown station from 6:30a to 8:30a on Tuesday .

Handlin will reprise the effort at the Belford Ferry Terminal on February 11 and 16, also from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30a., and on February 23 at the Matawan/Aberdeen Station, same hours.

For more information, call 732.787.1170.