PATERSON, NJ — Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly were joined by officials from the City of Paterson and Passaic County this morning for a Press Event calling for action on the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. Held near Paterson’s Spruce Street Bridge, which is slated for millions in repairs that have now been shut down due to the impasse over transportation funding, the event highlighted the need for the State Senate to take action on to fund the TTF by passing the Assembly’s bill or forwarding compromise legislation.
“Passing a bill to fund these vital transportation projects is essential to our state’s economy and inaction is not acceptable,” said Assemblywoman Sumter. “We are calling on the State Senate to meet its responsibility and either take action on the bill that passed the Assembly, or come to the Assembly with a compromise that the Governor is willing to sign. So far neither has happened, and our state is suffering for it.”
The State Assembly passed a bill to increase the state’s gas tax by 23 cents in order to fund the TTF that would also gradually lower the sales tax from seven percent to six percent, resulting in tax relief for nearly all state residents. Assembly members have been calling for the State Senate to act on the Assembly bill or come to the table with a compromise.
“New Jersey’s economy depends on its infrastructure and failing to act to fund these transportation projects is simply not an option,” said Assemblyman Wimberly. “Thousands of construction jobs are at stake in the short term, and in the long term our state’s economic viability is hanging in the balance.”
Taken in all, $3.5 billion in statewide transportation projects are now in limbo after Governor Christie passed an executive order freezing non-essential transportation projects. This includes many projects in the 35th district, including the Spruce Street Bridge, Paterson Market Street Bus Terminal, various road resurfacing projects and much more.
In addition to the Assembly members, the event was attended by Passaic County Freeholders John Bartlett, Terry Duffy and Pat Lapore, Paterson Councilman Luis Velez and Mark Roche, Business Manager, IBEW Local 102.