Senate President Steve Sweeney Announces Special Committee for Economic Growth

NJ's Senate Democratic Office responded to comments by Gov. Phil Murphy regarding cuts to the County College Opportunity Grant Program in the 2020 budget, saying that the claim is not supported by the facts.

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney today announced the planned formation of a Special Committee for Economic Growth to identify the best strategies, policies and practices to create jobs, attract investments to financially troubled communities and generate long-term economic opportunities throughout the state. The work of the committee will include a review of the past initiatives that have succeeded, why they were successful and how they can be improved.

“There are valuable lessons to be learned from the success of economic growth initiatives that have helped turn around once-struggling cities in different regions of New Jersey,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We need to do a constructive analysis of what has worked so that the gains are not lost in those communities and to develop an effective strategy to help other cities and towns. We should not allow misguided criticisms of existing programs to cripple the state’s ability to foster future economic growth.”

Senator Sweeney referred to the economic success stories that have been realized over the past 15 years by New Brunswick, Camden, Newark, Jersey City and Atlantic City, among others. Varied strategies have been used to draw investments, foster job-creating businesses, reduce crime and improve the quality of life for residents.  State-sponsored incentive programs and the collaborative efforts of local officials and businesses have been vital to the revitalization efforts, Senator Sweeney said.

Senator Sweeney said he wants the committee to gain input from city officials, businesses, local residents and state officials responsible for economic expansion policies in order to “learn from the experience and expertise” of those with firsthand knowledge. The Special Committee will be comprised of to-be-named Senators.

The review will include a true accounting of the costs and the return on investments, including total capital investments by those participating in the programs. The work will provide valuable information on what can be done to improve the state’s efforts to promote growth, Senator Sweeney noted.

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