TRENTON - Transportation advocates and some New Jersey lawmakers are urging Gov. Chris Christie to sign a bill which would replenish the state’s empty transportation trust fund by increasing the gas tax.
The bipartisan bill was passed by both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate last week, but the governor has not yet signed it.
Senate President Steven Sweeney says that he cannot understand what the governor is waiting for. Sen. Sweeney was instrumental in crafting the bill.
“I don’t know why he’s not signed the bill that we agreed to,” Sweeney says. “They said he is, so I expect him to do it. Why he’s waiting, I have no idea.”
Transportation projects have been on hold since this summer because the transportation fund ran out of money. Transportation advocates are also urging the governor to sign the bill so that work can resume before the cold, winter months.
The bill increases New Jersey’s gas tax by 23 cents. It also eliminates the estate tax and will lower sales tax.
“Forty-five percent of people say that their commutes have gotten worse over the last two years,” says AAA Northeast’s Cathleen Lewis. “That is not acceptable.”
The governor has 45 days to act on the bill, according to state law. A spokesperson for the Christie administration say the bill is under review.