Gov. Signs Bills in Atlantic City

Gov. Signs Bills in Atlantic City Making his first public appearance in nearly two weeks, Gov. James McGreevey signed two bills Wednesday to promote economic development in this resort city, but made no mention of the sex scandal that prompted him to announce he would resign from office.

A crowd of politicians, labor leaders and about 300 union members who sat in risers behind the stage greeted the governor with polite applause for about 30 seconds as he rose to speak.

"Please. I've only got 80 days left," said McGreevey, who spoke for about five minutes before signing the bills.

McGreevey announced on Aug. 12 that he is "a gay American" and that he had had an extramarital affair with a man. He said he planned to resign as governor on Nov. 15.

McGreevey got a standing ovation when he signed the two bills. Waving the papers in the air, he said: "It's now law. Thanks, guys."

One of the measures will funnel tax payments from casinos to construction projects throughout the state. It also sets aside $62 million specifically for Atlantic City projects.

The second bill will phase out by June 30, 2009, a tax that casinos must pay on free hotel rooms and other "comps" they give their best customers.

After signing the bills, McGreevey shook hands with those in the front row and was quickly escorted from the room by state police. Reporters called out to the governor, but McGreevey never acknowledged them as he walked quickly behind a blue curtain on the stage.

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