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(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) released the following statement Wednesday as the Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony from the state Department of Community Affairs:

“As we work to recover from the economic meltdown, we should be encouraging economic development and job creation, not stalling it as Gov. Christie has proposed by freezing the successful Urban Enterprise Zone program.

“Bridgeton has 9 active projects using $1.6 million in UEZ funding. This includes projects to help Main Street businesses, revitalize its riverfront, redevelop properties, provide loans to downtown businesses looking to improve and grow and provide police officers to patrol the central business district.

“These aren’t luxuries that can wait.

“These are projects directly tied to necessary new job creation and economic growth for a small city trying to make a comeback.

“That effort will be made much, much more difficult under Gov. Christie’s plan.”

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