The New Jersey Legislature has approved a package of bills aimed at stabilizing Atlantic City's finances.

The legislation, which was approved on June 25, authorizes casinos to make payments in lieu of taxes over the next 15 years.

Bills were also approved that provide additional state aid to the Atlantic City School District and reallocate the casino alternative tax to pay debt service on municipal bonds issued by the city. The legislation now needs the signature of Gov. Chris Christie before going into effect.

"This plan will help address the immediate fiscal crisis triggered by the multiple casino closings and downturn in the gaming industry," said State Senate President Steve Sweeney in a statement. "It will help stop the hemorrhaging and bring stability to Atlantic City's finances and more predictability to the city's revenues."

The press office for Christie did not immediately respond for comment on whether he will sign the legislation. The Republican governor appointed corporate restructuring attorney Kevin Lavin from FTI Consulting to oversee Atlantic City's finances and daily operations as emergency manager in January. The city is facing a $101 million budget gap and a March 23 report from Lavin mentioned the possibility of debt payment deferrals to avoid bankruptcy.

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