Farmland assessment revisions, Sandy oversight clear Senate

TRENTON – The Senate sent to the governor’s desk Tuesday several bills dealing with Sandy recovery oversight and farmland assessment.

A61/S2566: This bill, passed earlier by the Assembly 77-0, imposes oversight upon Hurricane Sandy recovery funding by establishing a website; requiring quarterly reports on recovery funding; and requiring expedited reports for administrative problems in funding to enable prompt responses. It passed the Senate 38-0.

In part, these bills are a reaction to the way in which debris removal company AshBritt was hired.  New Jersey “piggybacked’’ on an existing pact AshBritt had with Connecticut to clean up after Sandy.

Critics claim this bypassed accepted bidding practices; the Christie administration defended the practice as necessary and acceptable considering the amount of work needed and the timeframe involved.

S589: This bill, passed 38-0, would revise the “Farmland Assessment Act of 1964” to address the problem of so-called “fake’’ farmers who benefit from farmland assessments.

This bill would raise from $500 to $1,000 the minimum gross sales and payments qualifying standard on the first five acres of land. 

It passed the Assembly 70-4-3 last week and now heads to the governor.

The Senate also approved Superior Court nominees:

Carlia M. Brady, Woodbridge; Jeffrey R. Jablonski, Kearny; Kathleen A. Sheedy , Upper Freehold; Thomas J. Shusted, Jr., Cherry Hill; and Stephen J. Taylor, Montgomery.

In addition, Robert Van Dyk was approved to be a member of the Montclair State University Board of Trustees

Farmland assessment revisions, Sandy oversight clear Senate