There’s no sign of an end to the stalemate over renewing New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Chris Christie can’t come to an accord on which taxes to cut to ease residents’ concerns about a proposed 23-cent gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge repairs.
Christie said he’s willing to compromise with lawmakers to reach an agreement, but insisted he will not give in on his insistence for tax fairness.
Though lawmakers disagree with the governor on what’s fair, Christie said Tuesday he’s confident a deal will be reached.
“People have to get into a room and negotiate, and everybody is going to have to give a little. I’m not sitting here particularly worried that we won’t be able to come to a resolution,” he said. “We’ll get there.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney is less optimistic.
“I just don’t see a pathway at this point. I’m not confident that we’re going to get something done before the presidential election,” he said. “I hope I’m wrong.”
Sweeney said he hopes to reach a solution in order to end the state shutdown of transportation construction projects.
“It’s going to have an impact for our budget to the unemployment fund because when people are supposed to be working and they’re not, they’re drawing unemployment,” said Sweeney, D-Gloucester. “And then if you don’t have money to spend, you’re not going out to restaurants, you’re not buying the goods that you need to buy. So there’s going to be a real ripple effect sooner rather than later.”