New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation that provides foreclosure protection to residents that suffered property damage during 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, but he affixed his signature with a severe warning of the new law’s consequence.
The new law allows homeowners who are in the Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program and its sister program for low- and moderate-income homeowners to petition the state Department of Community Affairs for a reprieve from foreclosure actions until as late as July 2019. According to an Asbury Park Press report
, Christie released a two-page statement after Friday’s bill signing, in which he denounced the legislation as "a transparent, useless political exercise by candidates for re-election falsely pandering to victimized voters." He then added: "I have chosen to sign it to give Sandy victims the morsels of relief this vanity exercise of a bill offers. I will use my executive authority to attempt to repair the mountains of damage this could cause to our federal funding flow and our state housing market."
Christie, who is in his final year as governor, vetoed an earlier version of the bill and allowed this legislation to sit on his desk since Dec. 19 before signing it. In his signing statement, he also took aim at his rivals in the New Jersey state government.
"It is selfish of the legislature to use its authority to play on the emotions of Sandy victims with the empty promises of this bill,” he said. “As we have done for the last four-and-a-half years, the executive branch will use our authority to provide real solutions based on facts, not emotion or political grandstanding."