TRENTON - New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says that although negotiations are continuing, there is still no deal to replenish the transportation trust fund.
Sweeney says that after days of closed-door meetings, no progress has been made toward getting state road projects back on track. He says that many municipalities and counties have had to get the work done using their own funds.
Sweeney says that he does not blame the local municipalities for using their own money to fund projects, but says that it will likely cost the state in the long run.
“I can imagine there will be lots of lawsuits where contractors will be suing government and vice versa but that’s an added cost to what we're dealing with,” he says.
Lawmakers say that they have estimated that the freeze on state-funded road work could last for months. They also say that a 23-cent gas tax increase to replenish the transportation fund is still on the table.
But state leaders are still disagreeing over how large the tax breaks should be and what the state can afford to offer. Gov. Chris Christie says that some of the blame lies on the Senate president.
“If he can’t compromise then we're not going to get a transportation trust fund done. And then he'll have to explain to all the people who are out of work why he wants them to be out of work,” the governor says.
Sweeney says that there is no imminent compromise on a funding plan.