(TRENTON) — Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen) released the following statement Wednesday as the Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony from the state Department of Community Affairs:

“The governor’s plan to freeze one of New Jersey’s most successful job creation programs — Urban Enterprise Zones — must be reconsidered.

“It’s difficult to fathom any plan that brings economic development programs to a screeching halt amid the worst economy we’ve seen since The Great Depression. New Jersey should be encouraging job creation and economic growth, not standing in its way as Gov. Christie proposes.

“Paterson’s UEZ has helped bring in $41 million for revitalization projects since the program began in 1994. Stripping this Dest from Paterson will halt economic development and lead to more unemployment, further destabilizing our state economy and stagnating progress.

“We all know spending must be cut in these difficult times, but Gov. Christie’s plan to do so at the expense of economic growth and job creation is the wrong approach.”

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