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Date:    March 19, 2015
To:         ForwardNJ Coalition
Re:         Assembly Transportation Committee Recap

This morning, The Assembly Transportation committee heard testimony concerning the current status and health of the Transportation Trust Fund. Thank you to coalition members that testified. Below is a recap of the testimony: 

NJ Policy Perspective – Gordon MacInnes spoke to the overall need for a TTF solution and said that he has never seen such a large issue with such strong consensus and support for a solution. Focused on the benefits of the EITC offsetting a gas tax increase.

NJ League of Municipalities – Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert said the lack of progress is frustrating to local officials who are working through the municipal budgeting process with notice from the DOT that there will be no awards of local funding.

NJ Laborers - Ciro Scalera focused on the importance of transit oriented development, the economic benefits that come from light rail investment, and construction as a result of transportation investment.

ACCNJ - Mike Travostino talked about ForwardNJ’s efforts to educate the public and the consequences of inaction.

Tri-State Transportation Campaign - Janna Chernetz said there has been a crisis for a long time now, that transportation is a social issue, and it impacts everyone in the state everyday. Since the last time the gas tax has been increased NJ Transit has raised fares five times.

AAA NJ - Cathleen Lewis said that while it will cost families more when the gas tax is increased, at least it is a cost that can be budgeted compared to when motorists hit a pothole and take on unexpected repair costs. Also talked about the long term implications of TTF debt.

NJ Association of Counties - John Donnadio discussed the number of local bridges that are in need of major and minor repairs as well as the asset management and planning system used by counties to deliver capital projects.

Monmouth County Engineer - Joe Ettore talked about the Reason Foundation study and that it did not take many factors into account, such as: NJ is the most densely populated state with the heaviest vehicle miles traveled. The study only looks at centerline miles, while NJ has highways with multiple lanes.

UTCA - Anthony Attanasio said investing in infrastructure is necessary for economic growth and that without a long term solution, design work for bridges will be placed on hold, due to the DOT focusing on work they can actually pay for. Advocates don’t know what else to say and would like to see a bill that proposes how to solve this. 

Jonathan Scharff
Senior Associate
M Public Affairs, Inc.
MPublicAffairs.com

 

 

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