• `Show some leadership,' governor tells Statehouse Democrats
  • Multibillion-dollar highway, rail fund on brink of running dry

Governor Chris Christie, responding to Democratic calls for him to replenish the multibillion-dollar fund for New Jersey highway and rail projects, said it was lawmakers’ responsibility to introduce a plan.

Christie’s five-year, $8 billion Transportation Trust Fund expires June 30. There will be no money for projects as of August, Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer told Assembly lawmakers in Trenton on Wednesday.

Though Hammer said he was confident of a new authorization before the deadline, Democrats on the Assembly budget committee urged him, as a Christie appointee, to push for a plan for them to consider. Christie, at an appearance at Union County College on Thursday, said the onus is on lawmakers.

The second-term Republican hasn’t heeded Democratic leaders’ call to raise the gasoline tax, among the lowest in the U.S., to support the fund, saying he won’t unless the state eases such burdens as the inheritance and estate taxes.

“We can’t do anything without the legislature,” he said. “What’s your solution? Show some leadership.”

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