“This has been one of the most important legislative collaborations that I have ever been a part of,” said co-chair sate Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) in a statement.
“As I’ve seen each and every day in my district, Sandy victims need help, plain and simple. I am pleased that today we can take a big step forward towards delivering the type of help these folks need.”
The task force wrote its preliminary report after touring communities devastated by the storm, and holding roundtable discussions with residents, business owners and members of government from the neighborhoods.
The task force’s initial recommendations include:
► Exploring the use of soft barriers to lessen future storm damage.
► Shortening the time it takes for residents to receive insurance money to rebuild a quickly as possible.
► Better statewide rules to prioritize first responders and other workers to get gas.
► Developing licensing procedures and certifications for mold remediation contractors.
► Giving grants to businesses damaged by Sandy to supplement loan programs.
“Now that the state budget process has begun and we’ve seen first-hand the devastation and obstacles our neighbors are having to endure, it is critically important that we ensure federal, state and local resources are maximized and targeted to bring swift relief for short-term and long-term recovery,” said State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), the force's co-chair.
The task force will release its final report in the next few weeks.