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(TRENTON) — Assembly Democratic lawmakers on the Assembly transportation committee released the following statements Friday after Gov. Chris Christie — who promised no tax increases — proposed a 25 percent NJ Transit fare increase:

Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex):
“Gov. Christie’s fare increase is a tax on working commuters and will make our economy even less competitive and our roads even more congested. Gov. Christie promised New Jerseyans no tax increases, and this fare hike is nothing more than a tax increase by another name.”

Assembly Transportation Vice Chairwoman Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset):
“Gov. Christie’s huge fare increase takes money right from the pockets of working families and hits doubly hard because it also comes with severe service cuts. A fare hike that targets working New Jerseyans is last thing that should be considered in this difficult economic climate.”

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic):
“This proposed fare hike is clearly going to have widespread negative implications on jobs and our economy. I’m concerned the administration is rushing toward this fare increase without considering all opportunities that don’t overburden working New Jerseyans.”

Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-Hudson):
“Hiking fares by this much is a major blow to New Jerseyans who rely on NJ Transit trains and buses to get to work and earn a living day-after-day. Gov. Christie promised no taxes, but this equates to a major tax hike on middle-class and poor New Jerseyans.”

Assemblyman Matt Milam (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland):
“Gov. Christie’s fare increase puts the pain directly on riders. People who are using NJ Transit to get to work need that transportation, and to raise fares on them during a recession is decidedly unfair.”

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson):
“Gov. Christie’s fare hike is for all full intents and purposes a major tax increase on New Jersey commuters. That is not the type of change New Jerseyans were seeking.”

Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez (D-Hudson):
“Gov. Christie is looking to solve New Jersey’s problems on the backs of working men and women who have no other choice but to take mass transit to work daily. Many hard-working New Jerseyans already struggle to make ends meet, and Gov. Christie is making that even more difficult.”

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen):
“A fare increase that directly targets working New Jerseyans is no different than a tax increase, and, as we know, Gov. Christie promised no tax increases. It’s also unfortunate that Gov. Christie is placing the burden on middle- and lower-income New Jerseyans.”

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