Gov. Corzine set to unveil transportation plan for New Jersey

| 1/3/2008

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine plans to unveil his plans for increasing state revenue by using transportation assets when he gives his State of the State speech on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Corzine will follow the announcement by going on tour to promote his plan at town hall meetings in all 21 New Jersey counties. The governor has kept his transportation plan secret despite public demands and a court challenge seeking to force him to reveal the plan.

Within the plan, Corzine has said, he has included measures to use toll roads and existing infrastructure to generate more revenue, including the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Expressway.

In 2007, Corzine tossed around the term “monetization” to describe one possible scenario. Monetizing state assets refers to the act of putting toll roads out for bid to attract a private investor. Corzine has stated adamantly that he will not “sell” the toll roads.

Another scenario would be for the governor to restructure the state’s transportation agencies and implement a schedule to increase tolls. Revenue from a toll increase or private lease would go toward state debts that aren’t specifically related to transportation.

The series of 21 town hall meetings has been dubbed “Governor Corzine’s Financial Restructuring & Debt Reduction Town Hall Meetings.” The public is encouraged to speak about the plan. To sign up to speak, call the telephone number listed with each meeting date.

The first four meetings are scheduled for:

  • Jan. 12 – 2 to 4 p.m. at Livingston High School, 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston, NJ (609) 777-2208.
  • Jan. 14 – 7 to 9 p.m. at Bergen County Academies, 200 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, NJ (609) 777-2531.
  • Jan. 16 – 7 to 9 p.m. at County College of Morris, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, NJ (609) 777-2631.
  • Jan. 19 – 2 to 4 p.m. at Middle Township High School, 300 E. Atlantic Ave., Cape May Court House, NJ (609) 777-2529.

Additional meeting times and locations have not yet been announced. Click here to read the meeting schedule, sign up online to speak at the meetings, or to learn more about the proposal once the governor unveils it.

– By David Tanner, staff writer