TRENTON – According to one Trenton insider, the outcome of today’s hotly debated casino question has stacked the cards in favor of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) over his gubernatorial adversary Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
On Monday, the Senate President joined Governor Chris Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (Fulop’s ally) to announce that a legislative deal had been reached between the leaders of the state senate and assembly under the guidance of the Governor.
According to the source, who is unaffiliated with either Sweeney’s or Fulop’s camp, the deal strongly favors Sweeney over Fulop because of the fact that the proposed referendum’s framework will be based on Sweeney’s proposal with Senator Paul Sarlo with some of the assembly stipulations added in.
“Sweeney got everything he wanted,” the source said. “He had already pledged the billion. This is him getting it done.”
With the gubernatorial contest heating up, the day’s events stack up to a big win for Sweeney. If the referendum were approved by voters, he could lay claim to the additional $5 billion in state investment and 12,000 in jobs that the northern casinos are expected to generate in the state.
Since nothing was passed today, the bill that is eventually reached via the compromise will need to be approved by a 3/5 majority.