Sweeney Addresses Fiscal Priorities for Local Government
Atlantic City – Participating in a legislative leadership panel discussion at the League of Municipalities annual conference today, Senate President Steve Sweeney addressed the importance of fiscal reforms to support local government and their residents.
Moderated by Michael Aron, NJTV’s Chief Political Correspondent, the leadership panel also included Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.
“Municipal officials are on the front lines with the direct responsibility of providing public services to their residents,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The fiscal challenges that confront government at all levels is especially acute for local government. Property taxes and school funding are priorities for municipalities but they are impacted by financial decisions that are often made at the state level.”
Senator Sweeney said that fiscal reforms are needed to help hold down property taxes and to protect municipalities and their residents from the adverse effects of the spiraling costs for government.
“If people want to continue on our current path, they should know that there will be consequences at the local level,” said Senator Sweeney. “We want to help municipalities hold down property taxes at the same time we provide state aid for local schools. We have to face up to our fiscal challenges to get this done.”
Senator Sweeney also criticized the administration for “freezing” state funds approved by the Legislature as part of the state budget signed by the Governor.
“State revenues are performing better than expectations yet the administration continues to have important funding priorities frozen,” said Senator Sweeney. “It’s an irresponsible action that has only been partially rectified by the release of a portion of frozen funds. These are vital programs that have a direct impact on the lives of people throughout the state.”