Florham Park – Continuing to advocate for the fiscal and economic reforms needed to avert future financial crises, Senate President Steve Sweeney met with the Morris County Employer Legislative Committee and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce today to promote the recommendations of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, the blue ribbon panel that has proposed a range of cost-saving reforms.
Senator Sweeney spoke to the two separate groups about the “Path to Progress” report issued by the 25-member study group that provides a working blueprint to achieve the operational and structural reforms needed to restore financial stability and affordable government.
“We need to fix New Jersey over the next few years as we try to grapple with the deep fiscal crisis we are facing,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The Workgroup has provided us with a series of proposed reforms and recommendations that would make New Jersey’s economy healthy and competitive again, while also providing a more efficient structure of government throughout the state. This is achievable by implementing the recommendations proposed in the Path to Progress report.”
The discussions included proposals to address soaring pension and benefit costs, hold down property taxes, make government and school districts more efficient, assess the efficiency of our tax structure and leverage state assets.
“We have to face up to the reality of the deep fiscal crisis we are facing,” said Senator Sweeney. “We can’t grow our way out of it, we can’t tax our way out of it, and it won’t go away by ignoring it. If we refuse to make the needed reforms, we won’t have the ability to fully fund our schools, lower college tuition costs, take over Special Education costs, fix NJ Transit or make other investments for the people of New Jersey.”
“The Morris County business community was very pleased to host Senator Sweeney today at today’s forums,” said Alan Zakin of the Morris ELC. “We all want an economic climate that supports business growth, creates jobs and offers the opportunity for continued economic expansion. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate President to help develop the strategies that were outlined today and to move New Jersey forward.”
The recommendations also include promoting shared services among county and municipal governments, facilitating the consolidation of K-4, K-6 and K-8 school districts into K-12 regional districts to improve the quality of education and promote efficiency, and capturing substantial savings on health benefits.
The Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup held its initial organizational meeting on January 30, 2018. Over the course of six months, the Workgroup held meetings that included presentations by policy experts on critical issues and robust discussion of the pros and cons of potential solutions. The Workgroup issued its report and recommendations in August of 2018.
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is the premier business association in north-central New Jersey that serves more than 800 members and provides more than 300 events, forums and committee meetings on an annual basis.