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Chairman McKeon Statement on Atlantic City Recovery Plan Hearing

Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair John McKeon issued the following statement on Wednesday after his committee concluded a hearing on the status of Atlantic City’s recovery plan, as required by the “The Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act” enacted in May to help save the resort city from bankruptcy:

“The plan detailed publicly today by Atlantic City represents an encouraging step forward for this city that is vital for the state’s future.

“When this process started, takeover was nearly preordained. Those who felt that was not equitable, fair and reasonable put together a Herculean effort to present an alternative. It has since enabled the city to preserve collective bargaining while negotiating a fair compromise with the unions and enabled the city to keep crucial assets in its portfolio for the benefit of the people.

“The resulting plan is a sober and responsible approach that creates a much-needed level of stability for the city’s finances. It combats the structural deficit, achieves savings and reduces reliance on state aid. It encourages investment and puts the city on a positive trajectory toward financial independence. Notably, it does not include a tax increase.

“This is what we were looking for when the Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Prieto and with the hard work and guidance of this Judiciary Committee, worked hard to stave off a state takeover of the city. Mayor Guardian, Council President Small and their teams have done their jobs and done them well.

“I see no reason why the Department of Community Affairs would reject this plan. I urge them to do the right thing and approve this plan so Atlantic City can take the next big step toward getting back on its feet.”