Assemblyman John Wisneiwski (D-19) took another swipe at Gov. Chris Christie over a depleted Transportation Trust Fund today.
“Restoring the financial health of the Trust Fund will take political courage and leadership. Sadly, at a time when New Jersey needs the governor to lead, he has chosen, instead, to bury his head in the sand,” Wisniewski, chair of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, said in a statement after the committee heard testimony from lawmakers and transportation experts this morning
Christie has maintained that the TTF — facing insolvency by June 31st — is “not in crisis” at the moment. But transportation advocates argue otherwise, pointing to a lack of agreement among lawmakers on finding alternative funding sources and a state transportation system facing serious burdened with ailing infrastructure projects.
Parties testifying at the hearing this morning warned that letting the fund languish could have a serious impact on the state’s economy.
“Excuse me for repeating what is widely known and unanimously accepted, with one important exception: the bank for rebuilding our transportation networks is broke and we are already tardy in guaranteeing its refunding,” said New Jersey Policy Perspective president Gordon MacInnes. “Time’s running out and short-term, last-minute can kicking is not tolerable.”
MacInnes said even businesses have called for a gas tax as a way to fund the TTF, but stressed that any serious increase could fall hard on working families, and recommended the state restore its Earned Income Tax Credit to its pre-2010 to soften the blow.
Wisniewski had his eye set on the front office.
“As the committee discussion demonstrated, New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is in crisis despite the governor’s claim to the contrary,” he said.