By RYAN HUTCHINS
03/14/17 05:32 AM EDT
TRENTON — Democratic lawmakers in the Statehouse are considering major changes to New Jersey’s infrastructure spending program but are being met with resistance from their Republican colleagues.
The complex, 21-page bill (S3075) would enact broad amendments to the law passed last year authorizing the state’s Transportation Trust Fund to spend $2 billion per year on road, bridge and transit projects.
The new measure, sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, would strip a key transparency requirement, delay the creation of a panel to review the proposals and create a new system by which counties and towns could take over stalled projects. It would also allow the state to “bundle” several related projects, potentially speeding up environmental reviews and engineering work.
Introduced a week ago, the bill was quickly ushered through committee and was scheduled for a vote in the state Senate Monday, but never went on the board. Sweeney said he did not have enough support to call a vote without first sending the bill though a second reading. Such a predicament suggests fairly significant Republican opposition.