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Tentative deal reached to save Atlantic City, lawmaker says

Friday, May 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 05/13/16

Leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to help rescue Atlantic City from financial collapse, a top state lawmaker told NJ Advance Media on Thursday. Though no formal bill has been introduced, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) said the deal would give the city 150 days to formulate a plan to cut spending in half before the state steps in and takes over large parts of the local government. 

That would lean more toward a plan being pushed by Gov. Chris Christie and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) than one pushed by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), which sought to give the city two years to fix its problems. The deal was brokered after Prieto, Sweeney, and other top lawmakers met at the Statehouse on Thursday morning. 

"We're starting to talk," Sweeney said. "But we're where we're at. Hopefully we can find a solution. I think everyone wants to find one, so hopefully we can come up with one shortly. We talked today, but there's nothing except that we talked." Prieto would not comment. Caputo was not in the room for Thursday's meeting, but he said Prieto reported the news to his Democratic caucus after the meeting. "The speaker told us they've come together on most of these issues," Caputo said. "All of this has to go back to the administration, so it's really tentative." "It's been a long struggle," he added. "Hopefully this has come to an end."

Mayor Don Guardian, who was critical of the original takeover bill, expressed support for the plan during his monthly radio show Thursday. "I think the plan that is being unveiled is certainly something that Atlantic City can live with," Guardian said. "It's good."

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