Could changes be in store at New Jersey rest areas?

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/1/2012

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, lawmakers in New Jersey discussed a bill that could boost moneymaking opportunities along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

Assembly lawmakers took up for initial consideration on the chamber floor a bill to allow the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to study possible methods to increase current revenue and generate new revenue without raising taxes. If approved, the bill – A1279 – would move to the Senate for further consideration before it could advance to the governor.

Supporters say the state must look for creative ways to boost revenue without burdening taxpayers.

“Our current transportation infrastructure demands that we think outside the box to find new revenue sources to help meet our long-term needs,” Assemblyman Craig Coughlin said in a recent statement.

The bill would authorize the Turnpike Authority to look into opportunities to provide additional services, including business, commercial or retail services, at rest areas and service plazas along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

The report would identify the types of services that may be offered, the types of businesses that may be involved, how the services may be managed, and the role of the authority in offering these services.

Changes made to the bill on the Assembly floor would make the agency responsible for preparing a report within one year to submit to the General Assembly and the governor. It would then be up to lawmakers to decide whether to pursue any of the options presented.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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