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Jay Webber Demands Murphy Explain Where Tax Hike Dollars Went ,After Epic NJ Transit Failure

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the staff of Ridgewood blog

Whippany NJ,  Again, New Jersey Transit has let down their riders by cancelling over 20 trains last night. Alerts stated that all of the cancellations were because of a lack of engineer availability. The problems of NJ Transit today are ones Jay Webber worked to stop years ago. In 2011, the Legislature and Governor Christie passed legislation that required all new public employees to live in New Jersey. Jay was one of only a handful of lawmakers to vote against the bill. Just a few years later, many people, including Governor Phil Murphy, believe this legislation has resulted in an engineer and staffing shortage that has led to many of NJ Transit’s train cancellations and delays.

Continue reading Jay Webber Demands Murphy Explain Where Tax Hike Dollars Went ,After Epic NJ Transit Failure

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Congressman Leonard Lance Delivers : Up to $2.2 Billion More For Northeast Corridor Rail

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May 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON DC ,  Two major priorities of Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) have been included in the draft text of the fiscal year 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Appropriations Act. The Northeast Corridor rail projects could earn up to $2.2 billion in new funding included in the bill and language Lance inserted into the draft text will create a reimbursement program for local airports and businesses shuttered due to the protection of President Trump at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“Without a new tunnel under the Hudson River the movement of people and goods up and down the East Coast will grind to a halt. That has been my message to colleagues in Congress and we are winning new bipartisan support in our effort to advance this national priority,” said Lance, who led the effort to protect similar funding in the fiscal year 2018 spending measure.

Lance also worked effectively with the Appropriations Committee to include legislative language to create a federal reimbursement system for airports and businesses forced to close due to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) imposed while President Trump is at Trump National or in Florida. $3.5 million will go to reimbursing those grounded by TFRs.

“It is a matter of fairness that airports and businesses grounded by no fault of their own see some type of compensation. Protecting the President and First Family is the highest priority, but accommodations should be made for those where livelihood is reduced when the President is in town,” Lance continued.

The Northeast Corridor ($650 million), State of Good Repair ($500 million) and Core Capacity ($550 million) and New Start ($500 million) Grants all could contribute to projects related to a new tunnel under the Hudson River, including the Gateway Tunnel and Portal Bridge Project. These funds and new resources for grounded flights still need to go through the legislative process and pass both federal chambers. Lance worked diligently to secure these priorities in the bill, but lawmakers can attempt to target line items in the bill. Such an action occurred last year when a lawmaker from North Carolina offered an amendment removing the Gateway funds. Lance led the effort to defeat to the amendment when it was offered on the House Floor. When the U.S. Senate failed to advance last year’s spending measure, Lance and other pro-Gateway lawmakers successfully secured the funding in the omnibus appropriations package.

“These are major wins for the Garden State that would not have been possible without the leadership of New Jersey’s own Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen,” Lance concluded.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tells senators to Put Up the Cash for Gateway tunnel

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March 4,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Almost a year after U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called the Gateway Program “an absolute priority,” she said federal loans shouldn’t count toward the states’ share of funding. New York and New Jersey have pledged some $6 billion, mostly from federal loans, toward a proposed new $12.7 billion commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River and were counting on federal grants to cover the remainder. Federal authorities have said loans shouldn’t count as the states’ share.

This is a big issue for “dead broke” New Jersey and close to broke New York state.

On Thursday during a committee hearing on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan ,New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker asked Chao on Thursday during a committee hearing on President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan why the federal loans that the states must repay don’t count as local funding.

Cho responded ,“We’re not anxious for a fight on this, but for New York and New Jersey to consider funds, debt that we have given them, as part of their equity back to us is something that we disagree with,” Chao went on that under federal calculations that disregard the loans, the two states are putting up only 5%.

Chao repeated again that there is no agreement for the federal government to fund half the Gateway program as state officials have said. That agreement with the Obama administration was a sentence “given at a rally, a political rally, no less,”

While New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking at a state Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, said he was “committed to getting Gateway back on President Trump’s priority list.”
And stated ,“No single project is more critical, not just to our state’s economy but to our nation’s economy as well,” said Murphy, a Democrat who took office in January.

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N.J. warns of ‘traffic Armageddon’ without tunnel funding

Ridgewood Crash Creates Traffic Havoc

file photo by Boyd Loving

Nicholas Pugliese , State House Bureau, @nickpugzPublished 5:27 p.m. ET April 19, 2017

Several of New Jersey’s high-ranking elected officials gathered in Newark Penn Station Wednesday to present the federal government with a dire warning: either follow through on a commitment to fund a portion of the $24 billion trans-Hudson rail project known as Gateway or, in the words of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, prepare for “traffic Armageddon.”

“We are in a state of crisis,” said Booker, a Democrat. “In fact, we are long past a state of crisis and New Jersey residents are feeling it just about every single day.”

Gateway, perceived as one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country, would double rail capacity between Newark and New York City by digging a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and upgrading aging bridges, among other improvements.

But it’s a race against time. The current two-track tunnel under the Hudson River was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy and will need to be repaired in the next 20 years, reducing train service by 75 percent.

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/04/19/nj-warns-traffic-armageddon-without-tunnel-funding/100667508/