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U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Hugin at a press conference on Aug. 23, 2018. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Hugin, Gibbs seek South Jersey share of federal funds

Republicans say Homeland Security funding shortchanges South Jersey

By David Wildstein, August 23 2018 10:40 pm

Philadelphia is getting New Jersey’s money and Bob Hugin doesn’t think it’s fair.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security merges data from Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties with Philadelphia and its suburbs to calculate how to spend $18 million on the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program, according to Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs.

Gibbs and Beverly Fire Company Chief George Meredith joined Hugin today as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate railed against the unfunded mandate that requires local governments to pick up the tab for upgrading first responder communications systems to meet federal standards.”

“Burlington County is in the process of making a $40 million investment in our public safety communications system to be in compliance with the FCC so that we are prepared to respond in case of an event,” said Gibbs.  “Our taxpayers deserve fairness and shouldn’t shoulder the entire costs of this unfunded federal mandate when our neighbors across the Delaware are using us to get investment from Washington.”

Hugin said this is not a political issue.

“9/11 identified a need for the federal government to become more involved in security issues.  This region needs more support,” Hugin said.  “South Jersey residents have not been made any safer.”

Hugin says that Washington prioritizes funding for New York and Pennsylvania, which leads to New Jersey being last in receiving federal dollars.

“Here is a perfect example.  We’re used in the calculation, but New Jersey gets nothing,” Hugin said. “It’s a real tangible example of unfair treatment.”

“Emergency preparedness is essential for every community and we need to support every effort to ensure our local first responders have the funding they need. That’s why this issue is so important and it’s great that we have leaders like Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs who are willing to fight for this program,” said Hugin

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