TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement today saying that he would support legislative efforts to protect state employees from losing pay during the brief government shutdown:
“I believe that the state employees who were prevented from doing their jobs during the government shutdown should not be penalized by losing pay for the brief time that government was closed.
“If Speaker Prieto agrees to have the Assembly work in concert with the Senate, I am prepared to convene a session of the Senate to approve legislation that would ensure that state workers do not see their paychecks cut.
“The hard-working employees who are dedicated to public service were unable to do their jobs through no fault of their own. No one wants to see them penalized. It would not be fair and it would do nothing to make government operate more effectively. The funding is already included in the budget that was enacted into law so it would not cost any additional money.
“We succeeded in putting in place a state budget that addresses important Democratic priorities, including additional school aid and support for a wide range of programs and services for the most vulnerable among us. In many ways, it will be the public employees who will put this funding to work. They should not be shortchanged in their paychecks for a brief shutdown at a time when they have the responsibility to serve the people of New Jersey.”