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NJ Democrats Advance Toll Hike Rollback

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N.J. Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie (credit: AP Photo/Mel Evans)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Democrats have moved ahead to repeal toll increases earmarked for a commuter rail tunnel that’s not being built.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday voted 3-2 to cancel toll hikes on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway that begin next year.

The $1.25 billion in toll revenue was designated to help fund the tunnel under the Hudson River.

Gov. Chris Christie stopped the tunnel because of cost overruns he said could’ve added billions to the $8.7 billion tab. He redirected the money to other highway, bridge and rail projects.

Democrats on the panel say the Turnpike Authority should hold hearings before diverting toll money.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says partisan politics are at play. He says terms of prior bond sales counted on the toll revenue and can’t be rolled back.

The Assembly has yet to act on the measure.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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