Gas tax vote: Live updates all day as 23-cent hike looms
UPDATE, 4:55 p.m.: The Assembly voted 44-27 to approve the Transportation Trust Fund legislation that will raise the state gas tax by 23 cents per gallon. Nine members of the Assembly did not vote on the unpopular proposal. The legislation, which was endorsed by Gov. Chris Christie last Friday, now goes to the Republican governor's desk.
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: The state Senate has voted to approve a 23-cent-per-gallon hike in the state gas tax. The measure is expected to pass the Assembly later Friday, and Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign it.
The measure was fiercely opposed by several New Jersey 101.5 hosts, in particular Bill Spadea, who championed the #nogastax movement on social media and encouraged residents to call legislative offices. Many told New Jersey 101.5 they reached overwhelmed offices, bombarded by demands legislators vote no.
UPDATE, 1 p.m.: The state Senate us currently part of the way through a vote to raise New Jersey's gas tax. The measure is expected to pass:
UPDATE, noon: The state Senate has voted to approve the Transportation Trust Fund spending that is supported by a 23-cent hike on the gas tax.
The tax plan is being debated now. First, senators voted on a $2 billion a year, 8-year spending plan for road, rail and bridge projects.
For the most part, the votes for the bill came from the same 19 Democrats and four Republicans who voted Wednesday to amend the bill to reflect the deal struck last Friday by Gov. Chris Christie and legislative leaders. However, Loretta Weinberg didn't vote, after supporting the amendment Wednesday. Nicholas Scutari voted yes after not casting a vote two days ago.
The bills are scheduled for votes in the Assembly this afternoon.
The following senators voted against the spending measure:
Diane Allen, R-Burlington
Christopher "Kip" Bateman, R- Somerset
Jennfer Beck, R-Monmouth
Anthony Bucco, R-Morris
Gerald Cardinale, R-Morris
Christopher Connors, R-Ocean
Michael Doherty, R-Hunterdon
Nia Gill, D-Essex
James Holzapfel, R-Ocean
Tom Kean Jr., R-Union
Raymond Lesniak, D-Union
Joseph Pennacchio, R-Morris
Shirley Turner, D-Mercer
Jeff Van Drew, D-Cumberland
11:30 a.m: Friday, New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea and political reporter Michael Symons were both at the Statehouse, awaiting the upcoming state Senate vote on the measure. If it clears the legislature, Gov. Christie is expected to sign the measure the same day.
That's despite the fact that other tax breaks — in particular to the sales tax and estate tax — and growth of the earned income tax credit would increase New Jersey debt for years.
Speaking at the Statehouse Monday morning, state Sens. Christoper "Kip" Bateman, a Republican, and Ray Lesniak, a Democrat, both told Bill standing up the gas tax was the right thing to do. And they gave New Jerseyans who've joined Bill in the #nogastax campaign (which has been trending on Twitter) credit for making the vote close.
We'll be back with more updates shortly. In the meantime, Spadea continues to urge New Jersey residents to call their legislators and make their voices heard.
We'll be updating with a list of how every member of the legislature voted shortly.
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