Northern lawmaker grumbling ruptured the Democratic caucus this afternoon ahead of a scheduled Assembly session.
- (A-3983) – Establishes an additional category of state school aid to help Atlantic City. Under the bill, a school district may receive this aid if it’s situated in a municipality in which: 1) commercial property accounted for at least 75 percent of the total assessed property valuation in 2008, and 2) between 2008 and 2013, the assessed value of commercial property declined by at least 25 percent. The Atlantic City School District is the only district that meets these criteria. Commercial property accounted for nearly 78 percent of the municipality’s total assessed property valuation in 2008, and declined by nearly 32 percent, from nearly $16 billion to less than $11 billion, between 2008 and 2013.
A source told PolitickerNJ that Northern lawmakers jabbed at the Atlantic City Bail-out bill co-authored by Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2), Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) of South Jersey, and Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-34) of North Jersey.
“School aid,” said the source when asked to identify the sticking point in the caucus, “but not to northern aid districts who suffer same dire straits.”
The source said the bill – part of a larger bills package designed to buck up the flagging South Jersey gaming capital – will go forward but only with some unhappily foot-dragging Northerner caucus members. “It was pointed out that AC was not an Abbott District because of the casinos,” the source noted. “So they are unique. That was after the grumbling.”
The Assembly session started well over an hour and half late.
UPDATE: The Assembly passed the bill on the floor by a vote of 43-23-4.
Prior to the vote, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) of Nutley said he hoped the bill wouldn’t require his vote to pass and subsequently abstained.