New Jersey Senate postpones vote on gas tax transportation plan
New Jersey's lawmakers have once again put off voting on a controversial plan to replenish the state's dwindling transportation trust fund.
The New Jersey Senate went back to work in Trenton Monday after a July recess, but faced a stalemate over a plan to raise New Jersey's gas tax by 23 cents in order to fund transportation projects.
Projects to repair hundreds of roads and bridges across the state have been on hold since July, when the deadline to extend the transportation trust fund ran out. Gov. Chris Christie said that he wanted to ensure that what money was left in the fund would be used for emergency repairs only.
Lawmakers devised a plan that would enact the gas tax while eliminating the estate tax. It would also give tax breaks to low-income residents and senior citizens.
But Gov. Christie said that it must also include a 1-percent cut to sales tax, and said he would veto the plan if it was sent to his desk as-is.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto tells News 12 New Jersey that he believes that he, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Gov. Christie should all get into a room and develop a compromise. Sweeney does not agree with this.
"The governor's position has been one on the sales tax cut, and if that's the only thing the governor is going to present, what's the sense of getting in a room on that?" Sweeney asks.
Sweeney also says that unless he has a "veto-proof' majority support on the bill, he won't bring it to vote.
Gov. Christie's office released a statement that said, "The governor remains committed to reaching an amicable solution with legislative leaders that puts people to work, funds infrastructure investment in roads, bridges and mass transit and represents tax fairness for all the people of New Jersey. The governor trusts that everyone involved is committed to the same goals."