Democrats’ Proposed Budget Includes Funding for Transit Village Program
June 27th, 2011 by Jay Corbalis
Democrats released a budget proposal on Monday that included $1 million for the Department of Transportation’s Transit Village program. Gov. Chris Christie’s budget proposal had eliminated funding for the program.
The Democrats’ proposal does not increase overall funding for transportation, but rather directs DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson to reallocate $1 million to the program from the department’s proposed budget. Commissioner Simpson has already indicated that he planned to fund Transit Village projects in FY 2012 through other programs, such as Local Aid; the Democrats’ language just makes it official. Still, the move is a significant one because it shows a formal commitment to towns that have received Transit Village designation, as well as to towns that are considering applying to the program.
All of this is subject to change this week as the Legislature works to reconcile the governor’s budget proposal with the Democrats’. Still, there’s a fair chance the Transit Village funding language will make it through unscathed, given the broad support for transit villages and the fact that the proposal does not actually increase spending to fund the program. The state constitution requires a budget to be passed by Thursday (June 30), so stay tuned..