Sen. Sweeney calls for transportation fund renewal

The Transportation Trust Fund expires in two weeks, and lawmakers in Trenton are pushing to have it replenished.



State Senate President Steve Sweeney says New Jersey's economy depends on the fund, also known as the TTF.



He took to the water Friday to make his point.



He says commercial shipping vessels from around the world bring containers of goods to places like Port Elizabeth and Newark, so it can be trucked into consumer neighborhoods.



To keep the shipping going, Sweeney and other supporters of the fund say New Jersey needs strong infrastructure -- roads, bridges and railways in good shape.



"They get 6 million containers a year, and they need to move them," Sweeney says. "We made that investment on the Bayonne Bridge. Now we need to do it on land."



But lawmakers would need to pay for the TTF somehow.



If the gas tax goes up 23 cents, as proposed, critics say it won't just affect drivers at the pump. It could increase costs for trucking companies, which could in turn cause price hikes on the goods inside the shipping containers and be passed along to consumers once again.



Sweeney suggested a vote on the TTF could come up next week. The question over its funding would go before voters in November. 


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