TRENTON – A bill that seeks to restore transitional aid and additional funds for program oversight has been submitted by Senate Democrats.
This legislation calls for $140.5 million for the Department of Community Affairs, of which $139 million would go to eligible municipalities experiencing financial distress in the current fiscal year. An additional $1.5 million would be available to pay for administrative costs associated with the Transitional Aid to Localities program and with the oversight of any municipalities.
The aid is only available to municipalities experiencing difficulties making payments toward nondiscretionary or critical obligations including, but not limited to, debt service, contractual obligations, and public safety payroll.
This bill is different from one introduced by Sen. Kevin O’Toole, (R-40) of Clifton, which restores $139 million, of which 1 percent of that amount would be used for administrative costs.
The whole issue of Transitional Aid has been a political football since the budget battles last summer.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the aid, but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie then said he would restore the aid, but only if the Legislature included money for oversight that had been removed.
The new bill, S3118, is sponsored by Sens. Donald Norcross, (D-5), Camden, and Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge .