FAIRFIELD — A student asked Gov. Chris Christie at a town hall Wednesday what he thought of a push by President Obama and Democrats in Congress to increase the minimum wage across the U.S. to $10.10 an hour. The Republican governor — and possible…
Pallone says legislation is not necessary, regulators can change the rules
Governor Chris Christie listens to a resident’s question in Belmar. March 25, 2014 MMM photo/Art Gallagher. Click for larger view.
Governor Chris Christie told the 650 people in attendance at his Town Hall Meeting in Belmar yesterday that he went to Washington last week to ask HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to waive the rule that is keeping Sandy victims from rebuilding their homes while they are waiting to find out if they will be approved for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants of up to $150,000.
The RREM program will not reimburse homeowners for work done on their homes prior to their acceptance into the program. Over 3000 people are on the RREM waiting list for the second round of HUD funding which is expected to be awarded late this spring. They are in limbo, living in temporary housing, paying rent and mortgages, while their ruined homes are dormant.
Christie said that Donovan told him he could not waive the rule because a specific federal law prohibits grants being used to pay for work performed prior to the federal approval being secured.
The Governor’s Office has announced that Governor Chris Christie’s Town Hall Meeting in Belmar on Tuesday, March 25 will start at 11:30am, instead of the previously announced 11:00 am.
The mobile cabinet meeting which will include Office of Recovery and Rebuilding Director Marc Ferzan, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, EDA CEO Michele Brown and Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski is scheduled to start at 1PM, immediately following Christie’s Town Hall.
The Cabinet members will meet with affected residents and answer questions related to the available Sandy recovery housing and business assistance programs. Homeowners and business owners interested in attending can expedite the process by bringing relevant documentation related to the issue they are facing.
Christie plans to discuss the Administration’s plan for getting the second round of federal Sandy recovery funds into the hands of New Jersey families. However, the Governor will take questions on any topic.
Residents can RSVP to [email protected]. Doors open at 9:30 am and seating is on a first come, first serve basis and open to the public. No bags of any kind are permitted in the venue and personal items are subject to search. Due to safety requirements, law enforcement officers will be in attendance and will wand all attendees.
“We respond as Americans,” Christie bellowed following a congressional adjournment which occurred without a vote, “at least we did until last night… it was disgusting to watch.”
A majority of conservatives were of a decidedly different opinion, ranging from disinterest to feelings of betrayal. Their disgust was reserved for an event that occurred approximately two months earlier, before the Mitt Train officially derailed, when the rockstar GOP Governor embraced President Obama on Garden State soil, a move which public exit polling suggested could’ve helped move the needle in the incumbent’s direction in key 2012 battleground states like Virginia and Ohio. Base political calculation at its worst? Or simply emotions getting the best of an emotional guy?