SWEENEY & OLIVER ANNOUNCE SCHEDULE FOR HEARINGS ON ‘BACK TO WORK NJ’ JOBS PACKAGE

TRENTON – Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver today announced that the respective legislative budget committees will meet five times over a 14-day span in December to take up the numerous bills that will comprise the “Back to Work NJ” jobs and economic development package.

The legislative leaders announced the job-creation and pro-business agenda at a State House press conference last Wednesday. At that time, they unveiled seven bills that would be the first wave of legislation, and said the final package would comprise upwards of 30 bills.

“We promised swift action to bring jobs and businesses back to New Jersey, and this timetable will prove to residents and the business community that we are serious about getting the job done,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “In terms of job creation, 2010 has been a lost year in New Jersey. We are determined that 2011 will not be.”

“Working class New Jerseyans and businesses struggling to make ends meet are looking for innovative and credible ideas to jumpstart our economy, and we’re ready to make those ideas reality,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “Our residents and businesses need to enter the new year with a renewed confidence in the state’s economy. This bill package and legislative game plan will provide that momentum.”

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee will both meet on Wednesday, December 8, to begin consideration of the “Back to Work NJ” package. The committees will also meet for three consecutive days from December 14 through December 16, and again on December 22.

“We know the governor’s policies have neither improved our economy nor our budget situation, so we must push forward with this creative approach to create jobs and spark economic growth,” said Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden). “Tax cuts for millionaires do not create jobs. What we need is this approach that helps working class New Jerseyans and the businesses that employ them with targeted and productive tax cuts and incentives that will grow jobs and stimulate the economy.”

“Even with last month’s modest job gains, the fact is that many people are simply giving up ever finding meaningful work,” said Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “One month doesn’t make up for the last two years of losses or even predict next month. Putting this plan into place now will send the clear message that New Jersey is back in business and give hope to the unemployed that they can, indeed, find work again.”

Sweeney and Oliver said the Legislature should expect to take up the jobs package during two dedicated voting sessions in early January.

Committee meeting times and agendas will be released in the coming days.