NorthStar Turns 1; More Gateway Drama; Governor’s Race Update

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NorthStar Turns 1

It was just over a year ago when we hung our shingle and we’re thrilled to celebrate the conclusion of our first year. We have an amazing team, fantastic clients, and the drive and energy to make NorthStar one of the premier consulting firms in the region for years to come. We’re humbled by all the support we’ve received from friends, family and colleagues. Visit us in person or online. Onward.

Gateway “Hunger Games” Continue

The “Summer of Hell” – so dubbed by the media to refer to Amtrak track closures related to necessary and long-overdue track repairs at New York’s Penn Station – is here. If train delays, cancellations and even more derailments weren’t enough, travelers recently got hit with even more bad news.

The federal government announced it is pulling out of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, the special government agency set up to plan, finance and build the Gateway Tunnel. The announcement follows the release of the Trump Administration’s budget earlier in the year which cut funding for all transit new starts and would seem to further jeopardize federal funding for what is arguably the most important and needed transportation infrastructure project in the nation.

The importance of system redundancy and resiliency in our transportation infrastructure has been demonstrated time and again, and unfortunately becomes most apparent during times of crisis or disaster. We’re not sure what the Feds are thinking but in our opinion they need to come back to the Gateway Corp table immediately. In one bit of good news, New Jersey’s Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, recently committed $900 million to the project in the FY2018 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations bill.

New Jersey Governor’s Race

Republican nominee, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno recently released a “transportation plan” that entails negotiating an income tax agreement with New York as a means of funding transportation projects in New Jersey. The LG hasn’t yet explained why New York would agree to divert billions in tax revenues to fund New Jersey projects but we certainly look forward to hearing details.

Democratic nominee Phil Murphy received the endorsement of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest LGBT advocacy organization; he used the opportunity to blast President Trump and Governor Christie for what he charged is a lack of commitment to issues important to the LGBT community.

A recent Monmouth University poll gives Murphy a 27-point lead over Guadagno. The poll shows that if the election were held today, 53% of registered voters would vote for Murphy and 26% would select Guadagno. Murphy enjoys stronger support among Democrats (87%) than Guadagno does from Republicans (69%). Murphy is also carrying Independents 41%-28%.