N.J. budget panel OKs more borrowing for road, bridge projects

The New Jersey Legislature’s budget oversight committee has approved an increase in previously authorized borrowing to pay for road and bridge improvements this fiscal year.

State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff said Thursday up to an additional $1.6 billion in bonds will allow the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for projects–and repay money borrowed from the state’s general fund.

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel, however, warned the additional bonding is bad financial and transportation policy.

“We’ll be paving the road next year with this money that will have to be paved four more times before the bonds are paid off in 30 years,” he said.

Lawmakers who approved the bonding say the transportation projects will help put people back to work.

“We all know how our unemployment rate in the state has been lagging for the last couple of months or so, and this is a, if you want to call it, a stimulus package or get-back-to-work job program.”

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