TRENTON – Senator Brian P. Stack today said Hudson County residents are “deeply concerned” about the impact of the Corzine Administration’s toll road-debt reduction plan on their daily lives.
“Lately, it’s been the number one concern I hear about,” said Senator Stack, D-33. “People who use the turnpike on their daily commute will definitely need a break from the highest fare increases.”
Senator Stack said he would seek commitments from the Corzine Administration to come through with frequent user discounts for the toll roads before he considers backing the proposal.
“As it is now, these increases would impose prohibitive hits on regular working men and women,” Senator Stack said. “The Administration also should reject the notion that imposing tolls on Route 440 is acceptable – that can’t happen.”
The Democratic Senator said he, likewise, needs to examine a specific bill draft to determine exactly which portions are acceptable and which sections need to be changed.
“I give Governor Corzine and his administration a tremendous amount of credit for putting forth their suggested remedy for a problem that has to be solved,” Senator Stack said.
As a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, Senator Stack participated in the panel’s conceptual review of the proposal presented by the Corzine Administration to cut the state’s $32 billion debt in half by raising tolls by 50 percent in four increments from 2010 to 2022.
“Any solution will be painful, but I want to make sure it’s fair to the people of Hudson County,” he said.
Governor Corzine has indicated a willingness to produce frequent user discounts and to consider abandoning plans to put tolls on Route 440 for the first time.
“The hearing today gave us a framework for action, but we still need a bill draft as soon as possible,” Senator Stack said.