Atlantic City would have to formulate a plan to fix its finances within 130 days or the state would take them over under a new proposal.
The measure proposed Wednesday by Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney and others comes with the promise of a state loan, provided the city can devise a long-term plan to hold down spending and increase revenue. But it also would lower the boom on Atlantic City much quicker than a rival proposal in the Assembly that would give the city as long as two years to get its act together before losing control to the state.
And neither measure appears likely to satisfy Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has repeatedly said he will only sign a two-bill package that has already been approved in the Senate.
The city is on the verge of running out of money, and narrowly averted a partial government shutdown by rejiggering its payroll schedule to buy it a few weeks’ time.
“For years the Atlantic City government has made bold assertions regarding its ability to solve the problem,” Sweeney said. “Despite those assertions, no solutions have ever been implemented in a material way. Our proposal gives the city one last chance.”