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Sweeney Statement On Agreement On Wage Freeze And Furloughs

Senate Majority Leaders Applauds Corzine Administration for Saving Taxpayers Money, Negotiating Give-Backs

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, issued the following statement today on Governor Corzine’s announced agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for wage freezes and 10 unpaid furlough days in the fiscal year beginning July 1:

“This agreement is good news for the State of New Jersey at a time when we can use all the good news we can get. Our economy is suffering due to the national recession, our State revenues are lagging behind even the most conservative estimates put forth earlier in the year, and our unemployment figures are through the roof. In a few weeks, I and my colleagues in the State Legislature are going to have to advance a balanced “Doomsday Budget” for FY 2010 that slashes State spending to the bone.

“It’s about time something went right for the taxpayers of our beleaguered State.

“Governor Corzine’s agreement for 10 furlough days and wage freezes for the State workforce will mean millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers, which would have otherwise been paid for by even deeper cuts in State services or tax increases on State residents who simply can’t afford it.

“I applaud the Governor for being successful in renegotiating a contract with State workers which will save taxpayer dollars in this economic crisis. He brought union leaders to the table, and was able to reach an agreement that both parties can live with, while recognizing the dire state of New Jersey’s own finances.

“Our work is far from over in reining in excessive State spending, and producing a budget which meets the people’s priorities, but the agreement between the administration and State unions is welcome news. While we still have some tough decisions to make in terms of balancing the FY 2010 Budget, these negotiations will ease some of the strain on receding revenues, and protect jobs for thousands of State employees.”