A prominent New Jersey lawmaker yesterday said the state would need to increase tolls by 50% this year and again five years from now to help raise revenue to meet transportation infrastructure needs.

The issue of financing roads, bridges, and tunnels throughout the Garden State has taken a backseat while lawmakers work on the state's $33 billion budget for fiscal 2009, which begins July 1. Yet Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, said the state will need to spend money on transportation capital projects in an effort to boost New Jersey's economy, despite lawmakers not acting on Gov. Jon Corzine's debt restructuring transportation proposal.

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