23 Aug 2014
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Gov. Christie Fails to Sign Oversight of House Elevation Contractors Into Law

The legislation was introduced in response to accidents in Wall, Little Egg Harbor and Highlands in 2013.

Gov. Christie Fails to Sign Oversight of House Elevation Contractors Into Law
Legislation that would have provided strict oversight of home-elevation contractors expired without being signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday.

Senate bill S2976 and Assembly bill A4394 expired on Tuesday.

The bills would have called for home elevation contractors to meet certain standards, including registering with the State Department of Community Affairs (DCA), providing proof they have two years of experience in the field, using unified jacking machines exclusively and having $1 million in insurance. Unified jacking machines are designed to make lifting houses safer, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The Senate passed the legislation on Jan. 13 by a vote of 38-1, with one abstension. The Assembly passed the legislation on the same day with a 73-0 vote, with two abstensions.

In passing the legislation, lawmakers agreed to implement changes proposed by the State Attorney General’s Office, according to the report.

The bills had 27 co-sponsors from both sides of the political spectrum, ranging from Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) and Brian E. Rumpf (R-Atlantic/Burlington/Ocean) to Bob Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset).

Despite this support, Christie didn't sign the legislation into law on Tuesday, allowing it to expire.

The bills were proposed in part due to accidents in Wall, Little Egg Harbor and Highlands last year. Workers were injured and houses were damaged.

It was also proposed in response to testimony from Louisiana homeowners and contractors who witnessed damaged homes as a result of elevation jobs following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to the report. Homeowners were deceived by people calling themselves contractors who had neither the equipment or the experience to carry out the jobs.

Homes in impacted areas are subject to elevation standards after Sandy caused damage along the Jersey Shore in 2012.

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