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NJ Dem Leader Fears Fallout From Tunnel Bill Fight

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has filed a formal appeal of the $271 million bill the federal government sent the state for canceling a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, a prominent state lawmaker is concerned the government might withhold funds from other transportation areas to recoup money it says it’s owed.

Christie doesn’t believe the state owes a penny for canceling the planned tunnel. He argues that rising cost estimates for the tunnel and a state fiscal crisis made moving ahead with the project irresponsible.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney worries that New Jersey could lose out on $128 million the federal government offered to credit back to help ease traffic jams once the state pays in full.

In November, the Federal Transit Administration warned the state that if the bill wasn’t paid, it could recoup the money through “administrative offset.”

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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