TRENTON – State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) suggests the administration’s timing of a proposed transportation projects shutdown – today, Oct. 4th – was purely political.
“There is still $50 million available,” Sarlo tells Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. “If there’s $50 million available, there’s no need to have a shutdown, right?”
“Obviously you’ve never run a government agency,” Simpson tells Sarlo.
“I’m the mayor of a town,” Sarlo fires back. “You just made it personal.”
“We have a salary obligation,” Simpson says. “We didn’t want to lay anyone off.”
Simpson needs Sarlo to approve bond financing to keep current state transportation projects going through March of next year, and the work will stay halted unless Sarlo and Democrats back the refinancing.
According to the Department of Transportation, a resolution on the table would approve the sale of up to $1.25 billion in bonds and the refinancing of up to $500 million in existing debt was anticipated to occur before the end of September to carry projects forward into the spring of 2011.