(TRENTON) — New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Thursday on Gov. Christie’s comments:
“Gov. Christie has overseen Atlantic City since 2010, and he even admitted today that the city’s situation has since worsened. The governor also has the power to compel financial actions by the city through transitional aid agreements. Despite his many excuses, Gov. Christie owns the failings of Atlantic City since 2010. He needs to accept responsibility and stop blaming others.
“The fact remains that Gov. Christie has sufficient authority to save Atlantic City from financial catastrophe, but instead of action, he makes excuses, spouts conspiracy theories about the next gubernatorial election and makes up stories about alleged promises. He should focus on doing his job.
“And whether the governor likes it or not, he cannot break collective bargaining without likely violating federal and state constitutional rights. Government should not be in the business of taking rights away from people.
“As for North Jersey gaming, Gov. Christie can campaign as he chooses. It wouldn’t be his first flip-flop, and he would just be risking hurting Atlantic City by denying it funding it sorely needs from North Jersey gaming to transition into a resort destination.
“I am still willing to compromise, and welcome the governor’s call. I will see what the governor has in mind, but it must be a real compromise that protects core principles.”