The governmental in-fighting over a bill seeking to punish Trump Taj Mahal owner Carl Icahn hit a speed bump on Monday.
The New Jersey Senate was poised to vote on Monday to override a veto by Gov. Chris Christie for a bill that would impact the shuttered Atlantic City resort. But such a vote did not happen, at least not immediately.
The bill, and what the NJ Senate did not do
Late last year, the New Jersey legislature passed a bill that sought to keep the Taj Mahal from reopening with a casino license for a five-year window if it didn’t broker a labor deal with union workers. Some believe Icahn closed the resort in October just to break the labor union, with plans to open the doors again at a later date.
Christie vetoed that bill, however, saying, “This ill-conceived and poorly worded legislation that shamelessly backs one side in a labor dispute between private parties without regard to any legal, practical or collateral consequences far exceeds the scope of acceptable legislation and has no place in our state’s laws.”
The Senate was moving to render Christie’s veto moot. This is not a surprise, as the bill originally passed by a 28-7 margin. Somewhere, however, the override effort hit a snag:
Why the override never happened is unknown, but it appears likely it would not have passed had it come up for a vote. It’s not clear if an override attempt could happen again soon or at a later date.
Icahn wants to sell, so does it matter?
After the Christie veto, Icahn made his intentions to sell his AC resort known. Basically, Icahn was throwing up his hands in exasperation because the New Jersey legislature was tying to punish him.
In any event, the bill’s purpose in a world where Icahn doesn’t want to be in the AC market has little efficacy. The bill was narrowly tailored to fit the Taj Mahal/Icahn situation.
The uncertainty surrounding the future of the Taj Mahal still looms large for the city. The city could use the resort’s hotel rooms back in operation, but it’s not clear the city needs another casino to reopen in the wake of several resorts closing in recent years.
Another major resort, TEN AC (formerly Revel) has plans to reopen next week, as well, although it’s not clear that will actually happen.