Economic justice legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly gained Assembly approval on Monday.
The resolution (ACR-128) revives a joint committee of the legislature to be known as the “Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.” The joint committee will be authorized, empowered and directed to conduct a continuing study of issues concerning economic justice and equal opportunity employment through meetings and hearings held around the state. The measure is part of efforts by Assembly Democrats to lift people out of poverty and rebuild New Jersey’s middle-class.
“As we continue to recover from a severe economic recession, we must ensure that every New Jersey resident has the opportunity to obtain gainful employment, support their families and live the best lives they can,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “A joint committee will allow us to listen to New Jersey’s working families, who have been affected most by the slow growth in the economy and lacking job creation, and to also listen to businesses that also have concerns.”
Under the resolution, the joint committee is entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of the Legislative Services commission.
The joint committee will report its findings to the legislature on a routine basis, and may make other reports as it deems necessary.
“As I see it, as more jobs are created and as we continue to move out of this economic slump, the best way to help the people of New Jersey is to ensure equal opportunity for all on all fronts,” Wimberly said. “To do this, we need the facts. We need to hear the real stories. In order to address economic disparities and help level the playing field, we need to know what is really happening in our communities with regard to jobs and the economy.”
The committee will consist of 10 members of the legislature, from either house, regardless of political party affiliation, and will be nominated and appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly, as appropriate. The nomination will take place as follows: four members nominated by the President of the Senate; one member nominated by the Senate Minority Leader; four members nominated by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and one member nominated by the Assembly Minority Leader. All members shall serve without compensation and vacancies in the membership of the joint committee will be filled in the same manner as the original appointments made.
The resolution was approved 55-18-1.