The bill aims to create new benchmarks and keep collective bargaining agreements off the table for two years in the potential state takeover of Atlantic City.
US.- Yesterday (Thursday) a bill from Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-32) to create new benchmarks and keep collective bargaining agreements off the table for two years in the potential state takeover of Atlantic City was unanimously passed with bipartisan support at the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Under Prieto’s legislation, Atlantic City would be granted another two years to reach certain fiscal benchmarks, after which collective bargaining agreements and a potential sale of the city’s water authority would be back on the table, giving the city enough time for Christie to be out of office and therefore, out of the picture.
Prieto stated: “It was not that I was opposing the bill, it is that I wanted to make it a better bill.” The Assembly session today will be the last before Atlantic City runs out of money and starts paying its city workers on a monthly rather than biweekly basis. Prieto’s version of the bill would need an emergency vote with two-thirds of the body to be introduced on the floor the same day.
Don Guardian, Atlantic City Mayor, acknowledged after the hearing that the benchmarks’ coinciding with a governor’s swearing in after the end of Christie’s term in 2018 would put the city at an advantage. Guardian added that all the leading candidates of either party “are going to be very favourable to working with municipalities, and I think they would be very supportive. Because what’s good for Atlantic City is good for the state.”
On the other hand, Governor Christie has said that he will veto any bill that differs in any way from the Sweeney-sponsored Senate version that passed in March.