NJ Assembly leader seeks more input on Atlantic City deal

 New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto says he has not seen legislation allowing the state to take over Atlantic City's finances, but he has concerns about changes to collective bargaining agreements. (AP file photo)

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto says he has not seen legislation allowing the state to take over Atlantic City's finances, but he has concerns about changes to collective bargaining agreements. (AP file photo)

Governor Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney are hoping New Jersey lawmakers act quickly on a plan for the state to take control of Atlantic City’s finances.

The leader of the state Assembly, however, isn’t on board yet.

Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto hasn’t seen the legislation that would give the state the power to restructure the city’s debt, sell assets, and cancel contracts, but said Wednesday that he has some concerns.

“Collective bargaining, doing away with that, that’s something that I would have a problem with,” he said. “We are going to see what this bill is, then we’ll be reactive to what we see, and we’ll have our input about maybe potential amendments we would like to see in it.”

Prieto, D-Hudson, expects Assembly involvement in crafting an agreement will produce a plan to stabilize Atlantic City’s finances.

“So, hopefully, we can get to somewhere that it’ll help Atlantic City and it will be good for the whole state of New Jersey,” he said. “Atlantic City’s failing is not good for anybody. We want to make sure it thrives. It’s a tremendous economic engine for the state of New Jersey.”

A takeover bill currently in the legislature will be tweaked to include parts of an assistance plan vetoed last week.next month.

Christie said he hopes lawmakers will approve the legislation.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.