TRENTON – A floor amendment to the restoration of $139 million in Transitional Aid was approved by the Senate today, and the bill was approved, 35-4. The bill also includes $1.5 million in oversight costs.
The technical amendment tweaked four words that, according to officials, were weak in assigning authority to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to oversee the aid programs.
Four Republican lawmakers – state Sens. Steve Oroho (R-24), of Franklin Twp.; Mike Doherty (R-23), of Washington Twp.; Christopher Connors (R-9), of Lacey Twp.; and Gerry Cardinale (R-39), of Demarest – opposed the bill, due to longstanding opposition to these types of state aid.
Oroho said he is not supportive of state aid that “segregates one section of the state.”
“The administration and the DCA has done a fantastic job,” he said, streamlining and reducing the aid, aiming toward an end to the subsidy. “But the idea of having special programs that don’t apply to the whole state” is unappealing, he said.
Conners told State Street Wire, “I’m tired of giving all the money to cities.”