Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora and Elizabeth Maher Muoio (both D-Mercer/Hunterdon) on Wednesday called on Gov. Christie to work with the Assembly to forge a compromise on the fate of Atlantic City that would help save the gaming resort without trampling on the rights of public employees and disenfranchising thousands of residents for years to come.
“As we’ve seen with other state takeovers in the past, the end result boasts little progress with lots of sacrifice on the part of residents. The Governor already possesses most of the tools he needs to help Atlantic City, but he continues to push for the broad authority to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees, strip residents of their right to a representative government, and turn the keys over to wealthy investors. All of this falls in line with the pattern we’ve seen of bailing out the ‘Trumps,’ but never the little guys.
“Speaker Prieto has repeatedly called on the Governor to sit down and negotiate a compromise that won’t stack the odds against certain people, namely the struggling working-class residents of Atlantic City. There are far too many unanswered questions for the Governor to demand that this bill be rammed through the Assembly without any alterations or discussions,” said Gusciora.
“The legislature worked with the Governor on a PILOT bill that would have provided a roadmap towards financial stability for Atlantic City. Unfortunately, the Governor then inexplicably vetoed the very legislation he helped craft and is instead pushing his takeover agenda – an agenda that has failed in the past in New Jersey and will result in disenfranchising the residents of Atlantic City and trampling, once again, the collective bargaining rights that so many hard working New Jerseyans fought for and depend upon.
“Now the Governor is shutting one half of the legislature out of these discussions while adamantly refusing to accept any changes to the current bill. With so much at stake, this is a reckless way to govern. The members of the Assembly should stand together and demand a seat at the table,” said Muoio.