New Jersey lawmakers approve transportation network overhaul

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/14/2014

A bill headed to the New Jersey governor’s desk would boost public and private investments for the state’s transportation network.

The Senate voted 35-1 to advance a bill to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk, which would establish a state transportation infrastructure bank. Assembly lawmakers already approved the bill on a 62-14 vote.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, said state officials cannot ignore the “underlying value” the infrastructure system holds for the state’s economy.

“New Jersey’s economic recovery will be inherently linked to whether or not we create a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure system with better roads, bridges, tunnels and rail systems,” Wisniewski said in a news release.

A2268 would repeal the existing State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. In its place, two special non-lapsing, revolving funds within the state’s Environmental Infrastructure Trust would be established.

The trust’s current mission would also be expanded to include transportation and energy projects.

In addition, Wisniewski said the funds and accounts of the trust would be segregated to prevent the mixing of transportation and energy moneys, and water or environmental infrastructure moneys.

The trust could also issue bonds in maturities of up to 30 years for all types of projects.

Assemblyman Daniel Benson, D-Mercer/Middlesex, said the bill would help build a better New Jersey.

“A strong transportation infrastructure is a must if New Jersey is going to have a sustainably strong economy.”

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