Sweeney Wants State To Appeal Court Decision on Waterfront Commission

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney said today that he wants the state to appeal the court decision that would nullify the 2018 law abolishing the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, the bi-state agency created more than 65 years ago to license companies and monitor activity on the waterfront.

“This is an outdated commission that was doing little more than hindering economic growth and costing us jobs in the state’s shipping industry,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We should not be held hostage to an ancient compact that outlived its purpose long ago. New Jersey should challenge the court ruling and get it reversed.”

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down the New Jersey law that withdrew the state from the compact and transferred oversight responsibilities to the State Police. The authorizing legislation was approved by the Senate with a vote of 38-0 and by the Assembly with a vote of 66-1, before being signed into law in January of 2018.

“Left unchallenged, this court decision will hit our economy and could cause the loss of a reported 500 jobs,” said Senator Sweeney. “The shipping industry is a key part of the transportation hub that fuels the flow of goods in the bi-state region. We cannot allow the commission to return to its ways of stifling job growth and dragging down economic activity.”

There are more than 50 companies operating on the waterfront that have a registry of nearly 6,500 longshoremen and other workers.