Following Backroom Wrangling, Assembly to Consider New TTF Option

Prieto testifies in favor of the amended Senate bill

Prieto

TRENTON – Following a meeting between Gov., Chris Christie and Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) late this afternoon on the issue of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), the governor said he would sign the two-bill package tonight if Prieto and Democrats made certain changes.

“They don’t have the votes,” a source said, referring to the initial package designed to fund the depleted TTF.

Shortly after 5 p.m.,a source told PolitickerNJ that the proposed change would include trading tax cuts for half sales tax cut this year and another half for 2017 totaling $1.3 billion. All other tax cuts would be gone. The new version would be a seven to eight as opposed to a ten year TTF plan. It would leave a billion dollar hole in the general fund.

It was late-game operating on all sides.

The governor wanted a reduction in the jet fuel tax increase to match Pennsylvania. That tax had been a sticking point for Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) and other Democrats in districts with airports.

One source originally said the governor wants the gas tax hike shaved down from the originally proposed 23 cent uptick. A second source digested that information as doubtful, while a second source could not confirm the exact nature of a proposed change to the TTF bills but didn’t disagree that the assembly will consider a new version following ongoing backroom battles all day long.

It was volatile.