Lesniak Package To Renew Trust Fund Advances

TRENTON – The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today approved a two-measure package, sponsored by Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, that would implement the Corzine Administration’s plan to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund for the next five years without an increase in the gasoline tax.

By a vote of 13-1 with 1 abstention, the Committee approved S-1470, Senator Lesniak’s bill to provide up to $1.6 billion per year to the Transportation Trust Fund for improvements to roads and bridges and to keep buses and trains in operation throughout New Jersey.

The second proposal, SCR-78, also sponsored by Senator Lesniak, was approved 15-0 to seek voter approval to dedicate all of the 10.5 cents per gallon State levy on gasoline to support the Transportation Trust Fund. Both measures now await a full Senate vote.

Senator Lesniak said the package was vital to the people of New Jersey as an interim solution during tough fiscal times. It refinances existing debt and authorizes more borrowing, but avoids a tax increase.

“Replenishing the Trust Fund is absolutely necessary for ensuring our quality of life, for relieving congestion on our roadways and for making our bridges safe,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “We have serious fiscal issues to address before we can deal with a permanent solution, but this will enable us to keep moving forward.”

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