How Will Sequester Affect NJ Transportation Projects? [AUDIO]
So far the sequester budget cuts in Washington have not adversely affected federal transportation funding for New Jersey, but no one is sure what will happen in the coming weeks and months.
“The Highway Trust Fund is paid for by a special fund – it’s the gas tax, so we’re hoping that will keep a firewall from sequestration,” says State Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson.
He notes there is concern that if there are furloughs at the U.S. Highway Department and the Federal Transit Administration, the grant process might be delayed and there could be a cash-flow problem, but there is a course of action if that happens.
“We can always dip into the Transportation Trust Fund to pay our bills.”
Simpson points out New Jersey spends $3.2 billion a year on bridge, highway and transit projects. Half of that money comes from the feds, so everyone is hoping the sequester budget cuts don’t get expanded.
“I think we have to wait and see,” he says. “Let’s wait and see – let’s not jump to conclusions.”