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(TRENTON) — A new law sponsored by Assembly members John Wisniewski, Thomas Giblin, Albert Coutinho and Linda Stender will boost senior citizen transportation programs.

The law (A-2046 from the 2008-09 legislative session) increases the annual appropriation for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Program from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent of the money deposited in the Casino Revenue Fund.

“The state has thousands of senior citizens on fixed incomes and limited mobility who absolutely rely on state-funded transportation programs to survive,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex).

According to the lawmakers, the law will help insulate the programs against continually fluctuating fuel costs while neither curtailing existing service nor impacting other programs.

“Senior transport services are doing a lot with a little money, but cannot do more with even less,” said Giblin (D-Essex).

“Just because gas prices pulled-back from recent historic highs doesn’t mean another spike can’t happen,” said Coutinho (D-Essex). “Providing this now will not only help these programs make up what they lost last summer, but provide a much-needed cushion against another hike in prices at the pump.”

The Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Program assists counties in developing and providing access to fixed-route transportation services, where available, and creating local transit services where they are not.

“Redirecting this small percentage of funding will ensure New Jersey’s seniors can continue to access essential transportation services,” said Stender (D-Union). “It is worth doing to protect against volatility in the energy market.”

The bill was signed into law on Monday.

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