July 1, 2016
At some point during the early-morning hours Tuesday, Gov. Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto walked into a Statehouse hallway for a public hug on a $34.8 billion budget deal that wasn't really a deal, because the hug was missing Senate President Steve Sweeney - as well as a requisite dose of fiscal sense. Christie and Prieto (D., Hudson) agreed to raise New Jersey's gas tax from the nation's second-lowest, 14.5 cents a gallon, to its seventh-highest, 37.5 cents. That would raise $16 billion over the next eight years to support badly needed road, bridge, and mass transit repairs.
November 14, 2015 |
In a retrospective look at 2015, state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards touted efforts to improve efficiency and customer service, but said Pennsylvania continued to face funding that fell shy of the amount needed to fully maintain the state's transportation infrastructure. "We are far short of everything we'd like to do," said Richards, a former Montgomery County commissioner. The state has 598 construction contracts worth $2.4 billion this year, she said, and made pavement improvements to 6,077 highway miles.
November 10, 2015 |
The fact that there's this 'crisis' is ridiculous. It's a media-created crisis. - Gov. Christie The governor's comment on the condition of New Jersey's destitute Transportation Trust Fund suggests he is either delusional or so caught up in his presidential campaign that he is ignoring problems that deserve attention in his state. Christie, of course, isn't the only one to let personal politics get in the way. Democratic legislators conveniently suspended discussion of a gas-tax hike to replenish the fund while they were running for reelection.
November 7, 2015 |
TRENTON - Two days after expanding their majority in the Assembly, New Jersey Democrats on Thursday claimed a mandate to push a "middle-class agenda" that would fund transportation infrastructure, pensions for public employees, and schools. Leaders of both parties jousted over what fueled the election results: Gov. Christie's failed policies, in the words of Democrats, or special-interest money attacking GOP candidates, said Republicans. But with the election and a months-long policy-making hiatus behind them, lawmakers Thursday moved their focus to the challenges facing the state.
September 16, 2015
THE EUPHORIA over the firing of general manager Ruben Amaro seems to suggest that he is the lone culprit for the Phillies downfall. Not so fast! While no one will ever mistake Ruben Amaro for Branch Rickey, and he certainly deserves some of the blame, he might be taking too much heat for the Phillies downfall. It was management that forced him to sign Utley, Howard and Rollins to long-term deals. By the way, no one complained at the time because these players were all performing well.
February 23, 2015
ISSUE | ELECTIONS Open primaries, better democracy The need for a more fair and open political process expressed by Phil Goldsmith is felt by the many independent voters who are locked out of primary elections, and independent and third-party candidates who struggle to even make it onto the ballot ("Clean politics requires vigilance," Feb. 15). Although many voters seem unable to break from the two-party mind-set, the founders never would have accepted the decline of our electoral system into a bickering and stagnant two-party duopoly.
September 26, 2014 |
TRENTON - Pressure is ramping up on Gov. Christie and the Legislature to develop a long-term plan to shore up New Jersey's depleted transportation fund. For decades, the state has borrowed money to finance road and bridge repairs, instead of finding new revenue to pay for maintenance and upgrades. Now, that policy has resulted in a crisis: All revenue from the state gasoline tax is devoted to more than $1 billion in debt service, and the Transportation Trust Fund won't have enough money to last through fiscal year 2016, which begins in July.
November 20, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - After months of debate, the state House failed to pass legislation Monday night that would have provided $2.3 billion to complete long-overdue repairs to the state's aging transportation infrastructure. In a stunning 103-98 vote that teetered between passage and defeat until the last moment of the roll call, lawmakers shot down an amendment to fix thousands of substandard bridges, repave hundreds of miles of crumbling roads, and pump hundreds of millions into modernizing mass transit systems across the state.
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
June 7, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The state Senate approved a $2.5 billion transportation-funding bill Wednesday, aimed at repairing thousands of aging bridges and miles of roads while pumping more money into transit, setting the stage for a fight over the bill's fate in the House. The plan, championed by Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), ups the ante on the $1.8 billion proposal Gov. Corbett unveiled in February to address the state's infrastructure problems. Rafferty's bill, was approved on a 45-5 vote, would increase driver's license and vehicle-registration fees, and put a hefty surcharge on speeders and others who violate traffic laws.