New Jersey lawmakers bicker over Atlantic City aid plans

As Atlantic City edges closer to going broke, state lawmakers continue to bicker over how to prevent that from happening.

New Jersey lawmakers are still bickering over the Atlantic City aid plans.

New Jersey lawmakers are still bickering over the Atlantic City aid plans. (5/4/16)

TRENTON - As Atlantic City edges closer to going broke, state lawmakers continue to bicker over how to prevent that from happening.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto will post his version of an Atlantic City aid bill for a vote in the Assembly on Thursday.

The plan would allow a committee to take over Atlantic City instead of the state.

However, Senate President Steve Sweeney, a fellow Democrat, indicated Wednesday that even if the Assembly bill passes, he won't put it up for a vote in the Senate.

Sweeney is insisting on his own Atlantic City bill, which gives the city 130 days to right its finances, compared with two years in the Assembly bill.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie says he'll only sign Sweeney's bill, without changes.

Both sides have discussed compromises. Sweeney says that he offered Prieto a private compromise that he can't discuss in detail. But the speaker has denied that any offer was made.

Prieto says that the only compromise offer he has seen was sent in a press release from the Senate president. He has always said he awaits a "serious” attempt to negotiate on this issue.

The cash-starved city could go broke within weeks if an aid package is not enacted. Financial experts say that if Atlantic City goes bankrupt it would negatively affect many nearby communities and possibly the state as a whole.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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