The Latest: Lawmaker delivers alternative Atlantic City plan

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the financial crisis in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (All times local.)

9:45 p.m.

New Jersey’s Democratic Assembly speaker has introduced an alternative measure to address Atlantic City’s troubled finances.

Speaker Vincent Prieto’s (pree-AY’-tohz) measure introduced Wednesday night would set up a five-member committee to develop a financial plan for the city, whose tax base has contracted since four of its 12 casinos closed.

Prieto objects to legislation approved by the state Senate and backed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, saying it jeopardizes unions’ bargaining rights. Christie says he won’t approve the measure if any changes are made to the Senate version.

Prieto’s version would set up a benchmark system that would eventually allow the committee to make the types of changes allowed in the Senate version if the city’s finances don’t improve.

Like legislation passed by the Senate, Prieto’s measure would allow the city’s casinos to make payments in lieu of taxes.


8 p.m.

Atlantic City has made a change to how it pays its workers in an attempt to stave off a financial collapse.

The financially crumbling seaside resort’s City Council Wednesday night passed the measure that means workers will get paid every 28 days. They get paid every 14 days now.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian had warned that city hall would close and non-essential city services would be eliminated on Friday.

The change was needed because state aid for the city has been delayed by a stalled takeover bill in the Legislature.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, along with Guardian are wrangling about giving the state authority over the city’s finances.

Prieto objects to legislation approved by the state Senate and backed by Christie, saying it jeopardizes unions’ bargaining rights.


3:30 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie came to Atlantic City, not to meet with its embattled mayor, but to denounce the fellow Republican him as “a liar” who can’t do math or understand simple concepts.

The governor on Wednesday used his harshest language yet to criticize Mayor Don Guardian as the seaside gambling resort draws closer to going broke.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto continues to refuse to post an Atlantic City takeover bill for a vote unless provisions are added protecting public employee contracts — something Guardian supports.

The governor called Guardian a liar for agreeing to, then opposing, a state takeover.

Guardian says he’s disappointed Christie has resorted to name-calling instead of helping the city. Guardian says lawmakers promised changes to protect Atlantic City but never delivered them.

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