Just hours ahead of a Senate session that will see an override vote on a vetoed gun control bill that saw them at odds, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21) issued a bipartisan call for action on a proposed new Port Authority bus terminal.
The flash of cooperation comes even as the Senate approaches the vote, which would determine whether law enforcement would be automatically alerted when mentally ill gun buyers successfully expunge their state mental health records. Sweeney has called for an override, while Kean has joined Governor Christie in saying the bill does not go far enough.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Senators Bob Gordon (D-38), Joseph Kyrillos (R-13) and Paul Sarlo (D-Paul Sarlo) also signed off on the statement. All serve on the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, which been working to determine the best course of action for Port Authority’s capital plan.
“The Port Authority Bus Terminal has been overcrowded, dilapidated and in need of replacement for years,” Sweeney said. “Construction of a new bus terminal is vital because bus ridership is expected to increase 50 percent by 2040. We desperately need to increase trans-Hudson capacity, which is why both the bus terminal and the new Gateway rail tunnel have to be in the Port Authority’s revised 10-year capital plan.”
“All of our constituents, whether they are drivers, passengers or commuters, have been negatively impacted every day by infrastructure issues at Port Authority facilities,” Kean said. “These essential projects need to be done first and foremost. It’s beyond time that this public agency starts using the millions of dollars it collects from people each day to fulfill a core mission of efficient transportation services.”
Christie’s conditional veto would, among other things, make it easier for the state to commit the mentally unstable.