As N.J. transportation fund ebbs, Christie and lawmakers at impasse

Gov. Chris Christie says  it's up to the legislature to propose a plan for replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund. The Assembly Budget Committee chairman says it's up to the governor to offer a solution. (AP file photo)

Gov. Chris Christie says it's up to the legislature to propose a plan for replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund. The Assembly Budget Committee chairman says it's up to the governor to offer a solution. (AP file photo)

New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is just months away of running out of money to pay for road and bridge repairs.

Without an agreement to replenish the fund, Acting Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer said, the state won’t be able to advance capital transportation projects by early August.

But he told the Assembly Budget Committee Wednesday that it’s not a crisis situation.

“It’s not,” he said. “There’s still plenty of time for a collaborative approach between the legislature and the governor to come to a resolution.”

Time may abound, but the will may be lacking.

Gov. Chris Christie has said that it’s up to the legislature to propose a plan. Budget Committee chairman Gary Schaer has countered that, according to tradition, it’s up to the governor to offer a solution.

“It seems to me this is as close to D-Day as one could possibly get ,” said Schaer, D-Passaic, during Wednesday’s hearing. “And the executive, which has traditionally — if not always — made initiatives in terms of expenditures for the TTF, is standing by the side and saying. ‘I’m waiting for the legislature.'”

Some lawmakers have proposed increasing the gas tax to provide the needed revenue. Polls show a majority of residents oppose that.

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