TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner made the following statement today following a Senate Budget and Appropriations hearing on the Governor’s State financial restructuring plan:
“I applaud the Governor in his attempt to reduce spending and get our financial house in order. We have ignored our financial problems for far too long.
“I can’t comment on the specifics of the Governor’s toll plan since we don’t yet have a bill outlining the plan. But today’s committee hearing did raise some considerable concerns.
“First, any plan must include significant discounts for frequent users. These increases will far outpace income growth, and without discounts, working class citizens will bear a disproportionate amount of the toll burden. Our workers who use the toll roads to get to and from work must be protected.
“Second, I am deeply concerned that increased tolls will drive more traffic onto our local roads, especially trucks. This additional truck traffic on local roads will have a deleterious effect on our communities by increasing noise and congestion and decreasing safety on these local roads. Efforts must be made to keep trucks on our major highways.”