Camden gets special status in New Jersey laws, but activists wonder if it's helping residents

Government Spending Associated Press

New Jersey's poorest city is still getting extra attention from the state a dozen years after it partially took over Camden's city government in hopes of helping it become self-sufficient.

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But some activists there believe the aid is going to projects that help businesses and workers from elsewhere but not many of the city's 77,000 residents.

In the last few weeks alone, lawmakers passed three bills that confer special status to Camden.

The bills would offer incentives for teachers to retire early, provide tax breaks for supermarkets in the city and continue giving Camden special status in other policies.

Gov. Chris Christie hasn't said whether he will sign them. But he has visited the city frequently to laud changes in its school system and policing.