Photo | Dan McQuade
Atlantic City could be out of cash by April.
That’s according to Mayor Don Guardian, who said estimates have the city running out of money in just a few months if state aid doesn’t come. “Bankruptcy is now back on the table,” Guardian said in a release. “If the state is not able to come up with the funding we need within the next few weeks, we will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”
Until yesterday, Atlantic City thought it was getting that funding: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t sign a bill that would plug $33.5 million in a state budget gap. It is essentially a veto.
It gets worse: In November, Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill, telling lawmakers he wanted the state to have more control over the funds going to Atlantic City. Lawmakers acquiesced, passing a new bill in line with what Christie requested. He let it sit until the bill died yesterday at noon.
Guardian, a Republican like Christie, released a statement blasting the decision.
“Governor Chris Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney initially reached out to Atlantic City last year and told us of their plans to draft a PILOT bill that would greatly aid our financial recovery,” Guardian said in the statement. “It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it was a bill that everyone could agree on. The bill was discussed, debated, and deliberated about endlessly. Then there was radio silence. We needed a decision and anticipated an answer on this crucial bill many, many months ago. All of us worked hard on the passage of this bill for over 18 months. So much time was wasted. And today, we finally have received that answer from the Governor.
“I must say, we are tremendously frustrated by the veto of this crucial bill because of all the hard work and effort that went into crafting this bill, for all the consensus building in the New Jersey Legislature that has gone for naught, and for all the cooperation locally that is now cancelled. It is certainly disappointing.” Read more »