TRENTON – Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. (D-33) introduced legislation this week that would allow the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) to issue emergency bridge loans to municipalities that are working to recover from and protect themselves against natural disasters. Currently, the EIT is subject to the annual budget cycle and issues loans only once per year.
Ramos said if passed the law would allow Hoboken, which has been seeking low-interest funding for additional flood pumps, to apply for that funding now instead of waiting for the trust’s one time per year grants.
“Mother Nature doesn’t care about the budget cycle,” said Ramos. “This bill will help bridge the gap between when a disaster strikes and when a city or town can take action to get back on its feet. Taking preventative action is one of the biggest lessons we should have learned from Sandy, and this legislation will make it easier for towns to do that.”
The bill (A-4185) would allocate some of the Trust’s funds to be held in reserve to be issued following emergencies, allowing municipalities to apply for smaller-sized loans in off-cycle months until long-term grants and loans become available.
Assemblyman Ramos represents the 33rd Legislative District, which includes Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, and parts of Jersey City.