New Jersey governor vetoes transportation network overhaul

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 10/2/2014

An effort in New Jersey that was intended to benefit the state’s transportation network has been rejected by the governor.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that sought to establish the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank Fund. The change was intended to boost public and private investments for the state’s transportation network.

A2268 called for repealing the existing State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. In its place, a special non-lapsing, revolving fund within the state’s Environmental Infrastructure Trust would be established.

The trust’s current mission would also have been expanded to include transportation and energy projects. In addition, the trust could issue bonds in maturities of up to 30 years for all types of projects.

“While I support the sponsors’ desire to address the state’s transportation and energy infrastructure needs, this bill raises significant questions concerning funding sources and offers few solutions for our infrastructure needs,” Christie said in his veto message.

“Specifically, the bill does not dedicate or identify any resources for the capitalization or operation of the transportation and energy banks.”

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, said in a news release the governor’s action is a roadblock to making available opportunities for the state to tap “innovative and private investment.”

“At a time when the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is flat broke, the governor’s veto defies comprehension.”

State lawmakers can bring the bill back for a veto override attempt. It previously was approved by a veto-proof margin in both chambers.

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