TRENTON – Coming on the heels of the political squabble the last two days over the administration’s announcement it would use money from the Transportation Trust Fund for the general fund in light of the projected revenue shortfalls, two GOP senators said today they will introduce a bill regarding the governor’s capital program.
Sens. James W. Holzapfel, (R-10), Brick, and Robert Singer, (R-30), Jackson, said they have submitted legislation authorizing investment of $8 billion over five years in transportation infrastructure funding pursuant to Governor Chris Christie’s Transportation Capital Program.
“The governor has come up with a plan that is fiscally responsible, invests in our infrastructure, and accepts the reality that taxpayers cannot afford higher gas taxes,” said Holzapfel in a release. “This plan meets the emergent needs of New Jersey’s transportation system while reducing the reliance on borrowing that nearly bankrupted the Transportation Trust Fund under Governor Corzine.”
Christie wants a pay-as-you-go approach to capital transit projects. This bill would authorize $1.6 billion per year for five years, gradually increasing the financing as debt issuance is reduced.
After five years, the plan would be funded by roughly equal parts cash financing, bonding, and funds provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“Transportation infrastructure investment creates jobs, but only if we can afford to fund it responsibly,” Singer said.
Earlier today Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, questioned Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff about whether Christie’s plan would violate an earlier court ruling.
And on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie exhorted attendees at an annual transportation summit to apply pressure to Democratic leaders Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate President Steven Sweeney to ensure funding for the trust fund.