ALL HANDS ON DECK NEEDED AS NEW JERSEY RECOVERS FROM SANDY
Thomas A. Bracken/ Times of Trenton guest opinion column
April 8, 2013
We cheered when Congress approved $60.4 billion in emergency spending to help New Jersey and its neighbors recover from Superstorm Sandy. But the story of recovery is just beginning. Now that the cash has begun flowing into New Jersey, we must ensure that the money gets into the hands of those who need it the most and in a way that helps all of them — and New Jersey — emerge from the storm of the century and the Great Recession.
This opportunity must not be squandered. Grants, first and foremost, must go to residents and businesses that were directly struck by the storm so they can rebuild. This will generate jobs and boost our economy. Roughly $25 billion is expected to be invested in construction alone in New Jersey through 2015, according to a report by Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
The aid, meanwhile, will help get Jersey Shore merchants open for business by Memorial Day. Meeting this deadline is important symbolically, and it is critical to our state’s $40 billion per year tourism industry. To support our shore businesses, the state needs to quickly roll out the proposed $25 million marketing campaign to make sure everyone knows the Jersey Shore is open for business this summer.