by David Madden
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey legislators backing Governor Chris Christie’s proposed takeover of Atlantic City are taking a new approach to addressing a problem presented by the state Assembly Speaker.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
In a surprise move, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald joined North Jersey Senator Paul Sarlo in proposing amendments to the takeover bill.
They would give Atlantic City 130 days to produce a legally binding document outlining their plan to recover. Greenwald says he developed this alternative with Mayor Don Guardian to give the city the time it says it needs to set its own course.
“These amendments would allow the Mayor and Council time to right size their government, renegotiate their contracts. At the Mayor’s request, control their own destiny,” Greenwald told KYW Newsradio.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
That period of time would take Atlantic City through the summer tourism season, and Greenwald says if the amendments are approved, they’d seek a bridge loan from the Christie Administration to help the city make ends meet.
“We will provide any assistance that we can during that process, as much as they want or as little as they want, to help them to get this resolved,” Greenwald said.
But should the city fail, the Christie takeover plan would immediately take effect.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has blocked the Christie plan, and presented one of his own that protects union contracts for at least 2 years. In an e-mailed statement, Prieto said he was “pleased to see a step towards compromise, but Atlantic City must be treated fairly.”MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
The Governor’s office offered no comment, as is their policy on pending legislation.