Meets With SJ Business Group on Recommendations of Economic Policy Group
Atlantic City – Continuing to advocate for the fiscal and economic reforms needed to avert future financial crises, Senate President Steve Sweeney met today with top business leaders in South Jersey to promote the recommendations of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, the blue ribbon panel that has proposed a range of cost-saving reforms.
Meeting with the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, Senator Sweeney spoke about how the “Path to Progress” report issued by the 25-member study group provides a working blueprint to achieve the operational and structural reforms needed to restore financial stability and affordable government.
“It is up to all of us to take on the deeply-rooted fiscal problems that have been neglected for far too long,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “These are challenges that are not easily confronted, but it would be irresponsible and short sighted for us to allow the financial problems to continue. Left unaddressed, these conditions will only grow worse.”
The discussion with the business leaders 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. The forum also offered the business leaders the opportunity to provide input, which is one of the primary goals of the meetings Senator Sweeney and other members of the study group have had with groups across the state.
“Our business leaders fully understand the importance of fiscal reforms that will make New Jersey more affordable and better equipped to promote economic growth,” said Debra P. DiLorenzo, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. “We welcome the opportunity to hear directly from Senator Sweeney and we appreciate the ability to offer feedback. We all want a state that is prosperous and affordable.”
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 on August 9, 2018.
Following the issuance of the report, Senator Sweeney has been holding roundtable discussions and meeting with county and municipal officials and a wide range of organizations throughout the state.
“I expect and I welcome lively debate as these recommendations take shape and become more detailed policy proposals,” said Senator Sweeney. “It’s up to us to be willing to have conversations about how we fund retirements and benefits, structure government and schools and how we can use the assets we have to ensure the future of new generations of New Jerseyans.”
(Photo attached: Senate President Steve Sweeney talking to the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey’s board and executive members)