Democrats Offer New Atlantic City Plan, But Christie Not Budging
"There's nothing to me at the moment that changes my view on what we need to do to fix (Atlantic City)," Christie told reporters Thursday. "If they've got something else they want to show me, I'm always willing to listen, but I'm certainly not changing my position and I haven't."
The latest plan from Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald would give Atlantic City officials 130 days to deliver a solid plan to bring the city's budget in order. As part of the city's reform measures, spending per resident must be cut nearly in half to $3,500.
If after 130 days the city fails to develop an acceptable recovery plan, a state takeover would go into effect 10 days later.
Speaking at a press conference on the Cranford campus of Union County College, Christie again said he's only in favor of the "Sweeney bill as it was originally passed."
That bill, approved by the full Senate but blocked from a vote in the Assembly, would implement an immediate takeover of Atlantic City and give the state the authority to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements with public sector unions, a provision adamantly opposed by Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.
Prieto has his own rescue plan in the mix. The proposal, approved again Thursday by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, gives Atlantic City as long as two years before a takeover would become an option.