Bollwage on Transitional Aid: good, now let’s make a deal and restore UEZ funding

Mayor Chris Bollwage doesn’t get Transitional Aid in his hometown of Elizabeth, but he does depend on urban enterprise zone (UEZ) funding and he wants Democrats in the Legislature to ensure the restoration of those funds if they are to partner with Gov. Chris Christie on restoring $139 million in Transitional Aid and oversight language to the state budget.

“They’re playing this game of chicken down there – both sides, and the ones who are suffering are the people,” Bollwage told “When the Legislature adopted their budget they removed oversight language, and then the governor removed the aid. For some reason they have to do this dance and the reason they do it is because there is no game plan to help urban communities.”

Bollwage said Elizabeth is in better financial shape than other cities in the state that receive Transitional Aid.

“I would like to see him restore $47 million in Urban Enterprise Zone money,” said the mayor. “If the Democratic Legislature wants to help us, here’s how, and I’ve asked state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-20) to make this case – if there’s going to be a compromise bill with the governor, then stand firm on $47 million for UEZs.”