SUMMIT, N.J. — Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency and ordered all projects funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund to be shutdown.
The fund is set to run out of money in August. If this happens, the Governor’s Office has warned that the effects would be disastrous. Countless construction crews would be put out of work and funding would be stripped for potholes and bridge repair.
The State Assembly voted for a 23-cent gas tax hike on Tuesday that would maintain New Jersey’s roads and bridges for eight years. Governor Christie is pressuring the State Senate after the Assembly bill was not put to a vote on Thursday.
“It’s irresponsible. They have all the information they need to make a decision. Time to step up and make a judgement,” Christie said.
The Assembly bill comes with a 1 percent cut to New Jersey sales tax. Senators have been pushing to cut New Jersey’s estate tax instead. But the Assembly bill is the one Christie is ready to sign.
“The Assembly got their work done. It’s time for the Senate to get their work done. And the fact is I want them to answer to the people whose jobs are dependent upon that transportation funding. What are they going to say to them?” he said.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Transit are now making a list of all the construction sites to be shut down. They must deliver it to the Governor before 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.
The Senate is not scheduled to meet again until July 11.