CHRISTIE, HUD SECRETARY TOUT SANDY AID

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, center, with local merchant Frank Bain, left, outside the Sea Bright firehouse Thursday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Governor Chris Christie made yet another stop in Sea Bright Thursday afternoon, this time joined by federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to tout the first allocation of money from a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package passed by Congress last month.

“Just yesterday, I was able to say to the governor, here is $1.8 billion to help this state, and Sea Bright, start on the road to a full recovery,” Donovan said. “The law said we had to get that money out in 60 days, we did it in one-tenth that time – the fastest we’ve ever made an allocation of that funding.”

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JERSEY OFFICIALS BLAST SANDY FUND CUTOFF

Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long with Governor Chris Christie in Sea Bright on November 9. Both have joined in on bipartisan condemnation of inaction by the GOP-controlled House. (Click to enlarge)

State and local officials, including Republicans, are expressing outrage Wednesday over Congressional inaction, attributed to the GOP majority, on a $60.4 billion aid package for communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

From the Star-Ledger’s NJ.com:

Gov. Chris Christie ripped into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today for delaying a vote on billions in federal aid for recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” said Christie at a press conference this afternoon.

Christie, who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention last summer, said Congress traditionally puts politics aside for disaster relief but that House Republican leadership had put politics “before our oaths to serve our citizens.”

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MORANA: “WE’RE NOT GETTING ANYTHING”

IMG_6290While dedicated funding will pay for an expansion of the pre-K program, nearly all of the remaining state aid would be passed through to the Red Bank Charter School, Morana says.

The news from Trenton had Red Bank school officials elated, disappointed and “confused” all at once yesterday.

Elated because the state allotment of funds to schools under Governor Chris Christie’s austerity plan will put enough money into the district for an expansion of its highly regarded pilot pre-kindergarten program.

But baffled and deeply let down because, as it stands, the borough will net just $24,000 for all other needs, after deducting funds the two-school district is obligated to pass-through to the Red Bank Charter School.

Against a proposed $19.9 million spending plan, the state’s contribution is barely perceptible, says Superintendent Laura Morana.

“We’re not getting anything at all,” she told redbankgreen yesterday. It’s so perplexing to local officials that they are pressing the Christie administration for an explanation.

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