No Summer Break For NJ Senators [AUDIO]
For years, it has been customary for lawmakers flee from Trenton for the summer right after the State Budget is signed into law.
They typically return in September. That's especially true in an election year like this year when all 120 seats in the legislature and the Governor's office are up for grabs. As he has done since taking the helm as Sen. President, Steve Sweeney is bucking tradition and letting his members know they will be working through July and August.
"It's maybe a little-know secret, we haven't adjourned since I became Sen. President and we're not going to adjourn this summer," says Sweeney. "There's a whole lot of work that needs to be done. This state is in serious financial trouble."
Jobs and the economy will be the focus through July and August according to Sweeney. He's happy that New Jersey has been adding private-sector jobs over the last few months and he doesn't criticize Gov. Chris Christie for touting that, but the Sen. President thinks more can and needs to be done.
"We're going to continue to look and work on legislation that is in areas where we can compromise to keep moving forward," explains Sweeney.
"This really shouldn't be a political issue. Our job is finding ways to put more people back to work and there is the ability to do that if we compromise."
Getting more towns to share services in order to save taxpayers money is another area Sweeney says he'll continue to explore.
There is no schedule for summer committee hearings and voting sessions yet, but Sweeney expects to release one in the very near future.