(TRENTON) — Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee Chairman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-Bergen) issued a multimedia package Tuesday in which they discuss the series of hearings being conducted by the transportation panel on New Jersey’s transportation funding crisis.
The hearing series seeks to examine how a first-class transportation network for moving goods, services and people is essential New Jersey’s economy and ongoing economic health. At each location, testimony will be taken from transportation experts, public officials and the public on the Transportation Trust Fund and the impact it has on the state’s economy.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the members discussing the hearing series and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the members is appended below:
Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee Chair:
“The Transportation Trust Fund is out of money.
“Because of our inability to reach a consensus over the past 20 years, we’ve continually spent the same amount of money and borrowed increasingly larger sums of money. And, if we care about our economy, we need to find a solution. If we hate the length of our commute, we need to find a solution. If we’re worried about the wear and tear on our cars, we need to find a solution.”
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson):
“And what we’ve been doing by borrowing, we’ve been taxing our future generations and we’re kicking the can down the road, and that’s not acceptable.
“We need to figure out a solution, and today is the start of a dialogue to figure out what our needs for road infrastructure in the State of New Jersey; how we can fund our Transportation Trust Fund; and an education process for the public of what the needs are.”
Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-Bergen):
“This is a corridor state. We need to find money so we can go repair, rebuild our bridges, our roadways, so this hearing here today is the beginning of hopefully a very productive discussion as to what this state needs to do to find the revenues necessary to ensure that our roadways are safe for all of our travelers throughout the state.”
“The road infrastructure of the State of New Jersey is very important to us because it’s what makes New Jersey attractive. It bring businesses here. So we have to capitalize on this and really have to invest, because the road, when I started driving back in the 70s, it was the best in the nation. I’m still riding on those same roads. We need to upgrade. We need to figure out a solution now that will help the future.”
“Look around the world. Look around this nation. Wherever there is capital investment in transportation, thousands of jobs are created, economic productivity goes up, everybody succeeds, everybody wins.
“So this is not only about making our transportation system better. It’s not only about protecting our economy. It’s about putting people to work. It’s about increasing our quality of life. It’s about raising our standard of living.”