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(TRENTON) - The Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Celeste M. Riley, John J. Burzichelli and Craig J. Coughlin that would provide an opportunity for sponsorship of certain public rest stops along state highways and alleviate the burden on taxpayers for the maintenance of these rest areas.
"This legislation authorizes a simple move that would potentially offer a great benefit to taxpayers," said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). "Covering the cost for upkeep of state highway rest areas may be minimal in ways but it is money that can add up over time. In this economy, every little bit we save would make a big difference in the long run."
"Thousands of people travel our state highways each year," said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). "Extending the opportunity for sponsorship would be an asset to any corporation's marketing platform. And it also alleviates costs to our taxpayers which is a win in this economy."
"Offering sponsorship is an opportunity that would help business and industry in the state as well as relieve a burden on taxpayers," said Coughlin (D- Middlesex). "In these economic times, we should look for more ways such as this one to reduce costs where ever we can."
The bill (A-3461) would allow the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority to enter into sponsorship agreements with private entities to exchange monetary compensation, accept products or services, or both from the private entity to be used for the maintenance and upkeep of the rest area. The bill also provides for acknowledgement signs to be placed on the highway in advance of the exit for a rest area and within rest area buildings.
The DOT, NJTA and SJTA would be required under the bill's provisions to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the program including, but not necessarily limited to: qualifications for private entities to participate in rest area sponsorship program; application requirements; terms for sponsorship agreements; and specifications for acceptable acknowledgement signs and acknowledgement sign placement.
The measure was released from the Assembly Transportation Committee and now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
NJ Assembly Majority Office
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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