Transitional Aid bill under pressure for last-minute amendment

PENNSAUKEN – Gov. Chris Christie said he’ll likely veto the Democratic restoration of $139 million in Transitional Aid to struggling cities like Paterson, Trenton, and Camden if Democrats don’t fix the bill.

Christie said today that he sought an amendment from the Legislative leadership, which he hopes will be honored in tomorrow’s dual voting sessions so the money can be appropriated to the towns before the new year.

He said there are “flaws in the bill,” but wouldn’t elaborate; he said he wanted to maintain the integrity of back-channel negotiations.

The Democrats included an additional $1.5 million in the bill to fund oversight they removed finding for in their budget. Unable to restore the oversight funding, Christie line-itemed the allocation from his final budget.

Christie didn’t zoom in on the additional funding as the obstacle, but has particular objections he’s communicated to the lawmakers. Nonetheless, he’s ready to sign off on the state aid if it meets his standards. “That’s what I wanted all along,” he said.

Senate Democratic spokesman Derek Roseman said this afternoon that the majority had come to terms with “minor technical amendments,” which he could not expound on. He said the bill should be on the governor’s desk by tomorrow night. Transitional Aid bill under pressure for last-minute amendment