Two months after the State Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation that would allow the city to borrow millions of dollars in serial bonds to cover costs associated with Hurricane Sandy — and pay down the remainder of a $9.2 million budget gap — the Senate followed suit, saying that Long Beach is facing extraordinary expenses.
On Monday, the Senate voted 56-0 to allow the city to issue up to $12 million in serial bonds, to be paid over 10 years, “to finance extraordinary expenses incurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy that are not eligible to be reimbursed from state and federal government grants,” and “for the purposes of liquidating current deficits in its general fund, sewer fund, water fund and risk management fund as of June 30, 2012.”
The bill — which must be signed by Governor Cuomo — was part of a comprehensive, bipartisan legislative package of 22 bills the Senate passed that provide relief to people and communities affected by Sandy, aid rebuilding efforts and increase disaster preparedness. The measures include tax assessment relief for properties catastrophically damaged by the storm, revisions to regulatory obstacles that slow down the rebuilding process, and improvement and continued examination of state insurance laws to help policyholders receive funds following a disaster, among others.
“It has been over seven months since Hurricane Sandy left its mark, and as people and governments continue to rebuild, the Senate is implementing measures that will help make that process easier both now and in the future,” Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who sponsored the bill, said in a statement. “Many members of the Senate have worked together to develop legislation that will provide effective relief to those who are impacted by Sandy and will help mitigate the effects of storms that have yet to come.”