Vows To Work In Bipartisan Manner to Help People of New Jersey
TRENTON – Senator Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) today was sworn in for a third term as New Jersey State Senate President. Sweeney was first selected by his colleagues to serve as Senate President in 2010 and selected again in 2012.
“As I stand here before you today, I stand proud,” said Sweeney. “Proud to not only call all of you colleagues and friends, but to have been chosen by you to again serve as Senate President. And proud of the long list of things we’ve accomplished in these last four years.”
Sweeney went on to discuss working to establish Paid Family Leave and the commitment of the Legislature to speak for those in Trenton who are voiceless. He thanked Senator Shirley Turner for her advocacy in raising the state’s minimum wage and Senator Ray Lesniak for his work on the Economic Opportunity Act. He acknowledged Senators Teresa Ruiz, Nellie Pou, Sandra Cunningham, and Brian Stack for their work on the DREAM Act, and praised Senators Donald Norcross and Joseph Vitale for working with him to restructure higher education in New Jersey.
Senate President Sweeney also thanked Senators Loretta Weinberg and Lesniak for their tireless work on marriage equality in New Jersey, and Senator Scutari for his work on medical marijuana. But he acknowledged that there were some areas where the Senate was not able to get done what they hoped to accomplish. He cited restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit and establishing Equal Pay for Equal Work.
The Senate President also announced that in this new term, he will be introducing legislation to establish a Bill of Rights for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Citing the countless individuals who still have not gotten the aid they received because of various barriers, Sweeney called the new bill a much needed piece of legislation that will protect and aid working people in New Jersey.
“It’s going to take a lot of work on our part and that also means all of us working together,” said Sweeney. “But we can create a better New Jersey if we work with one another. I also look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Prieto to make these things happen.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney represents the Third Legislative District, which includes portions of Gloucester and Cumberland counties and all of SalemCounty. First elected to the New Jersey Senate in 2001, Senator Sweeney has been reelected four times. He was chosen by the Democratic Majority to lead the Senate in the 214th Legislature in 2009, and took the oath as Senate President on January 12, 2010. Senate President Sweeney entered public service after his daughter was born with Down syndrome. He was horrified at the manner in which individuals with disabilities were treated and set out to make a difference not just in his daughter’s life, but in lives of those in his community. Follow Senate President Sweeney on Twitter @njsenatepres.