Late Thursday, Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order requiring an orderly shutdown of Transportation Trust Fund projects by Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
He blamed the “Senate’s inaction” for the order. Earlier Thursday, members of the Senate failed to vote on a bill the Assembly passed that would have raised the gas tax to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund while lowering the sales tax. Senate President Steve Sweeney said that plan was too costly for the state.
Christie disagreed. “Senate Democrats are clearly conflicted over how to appease their public and private sector union masters, because their union masters also are divided over the bipartisan tax fairness solution that passed the Assembly,” he said in a statement. “The Senate’s inaction also ignored New Jersey’s necessary transportation infrastructure improvements, as well as the hundreds of private sector workers who came to Trenton today with their jobs hanging in the balance, because the Senate failed to reauthorize this Transportation Trust.”
The governor said the plan the Assembly passed would have helped “the overburdened taxpayers of New Jersey” by lowering the sales tax.
“As this executive order states, in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of this state, it is necessary that the remaining amounts held by the TTF not be spent on any transportation project that is not absolutely essential,” Christie added.