Sweeney Addresses AC Chamber on Fiscal Reforms, the City’s Economic Progress
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, and to praise the city’s economic progress.
Meeting with the Greater AC Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Club Meeting, 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.
“The reforms and recommendations by the workgroup will have beneficial effects that extend beyond the public sector,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We must have government entities operate in a more efficient way. They will make government operate more effectively, deliver savings to taxpayers and contribute to the economic strength of the private sector.”
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.
Senator Sweeney also praised the economic progress that is in the making for Atlantic City.
“I believe that Atlantic City is turning a corner and making strides,” said Senator Sweeney. “The state needs Atlantic City to be strong. Not just South Jersey…but all of New Jersey benefits when Atlantic City is bringing tourists and conventions and gamblers to its casinos and the economic growth extends to the whole city.”
Senator Sweeney said that sports betting and the creation of an economic growth zone around Atlantic City International Airport and the government reforms by the city have contributed to the progress.
“Our business leaders recognize the motivations and benefits fiscal reforms that will make New Jersey more affordable and better equipped to promote economic growth,” said Joe Kelley, the Chamber President. “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.