Menendez: Cut aid to New York if they squeeze NJ commuters more
⚫ Menendez sponsoring a bill to stop NY congestion pricing
⚫The measure would cut NY Block Grant funding
⚫ He says NJ residents shouldn't have to pay to fix NYC mass transit
Efforts continue to try and stop New York from implementing congestion pricing, a plan that would cost New Jersey residents who commute into mid-town Manhattan an extra $5,000 a year.
During a news conference Monday at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., announced he is introducing the Stop NJ Congestion Act this week.
He said the measure would cause New York to lose 50% of their National Highway Performance Program and Surface Transportation Block Grant funding if they move forward with their congestion pricing tax on Garden State drivers.
NJ drivers shouldn't pay twice
“New Jerseyans should not have to pay twice, paying a toll and then paying congestion pricing,” he said.
He said the legislation would also require New York to meaningfully engage with, and receive consent from affected states like New Jersey before any congestion pricing is approved.
Menendez said it’s understandable New York wants to modernize the New York City subway system but “New York should not be doing a good part of what they need to do over on the New York side on the backs of New Jerseyans.”
The congestion pricing plan calls for all vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street to pay an additional $23 toll.
A seat at the table
The bill put forth by Menendez would also amend the underlying Value Pricing Pilot Program, which New York is using to implement its congestion pricing proposal, to require that a project sponsor meaningfully engage with, and receive consent from, any state that would be reasonably impacted by a proposal under the program. This guarantees New Jersey a seat at the table on, and veto power over, any future congestion pricing proposal.
U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, is sponsoring a bill that would cut off federal funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority if the congestion pricing plan moves forward, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has said his administration is considering possible legal steps to try and block congestion pricing from going into effect.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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