Business Summit Proposed for New Jersey
There are solutions to New Jersey's chronic fiscal woes, according to one of the top business leaders in the state.
He said a business summit with legislative and business community leaders would be an ideal forum to talk about ideas. The New Jersey Senate president and Assembly speaker are both interested.
"On behalf of the business community I invite the members of the state legislature to sit down with us for some serious discussions to work together to revitalize our economy," said State Chamber of Commerce president Tom Bracken. "We propose a business summit with the leaders of the business community and the legislature."
At a State House press conference on June 22, Bracken suggested the summit and invited lawmakers to participate. State Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) and Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) were at the event and expressed their support for the idea. Democratic leaders are also open to it.
"For an economic summit, I'll be more than happy to sit with anybody," said Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus). "I'd be happy to talk about what we've always been talking about; how do we grow our economy?"
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said he'd participate in the summit too under certain conditions.
"I'm open to finding solutions to the problems here. If they want to do it through a summit I'm fine," Sweeney said. "As long as we find solutions and it's not just show biz I'm more than willing to do something, but it has to be real and it can't be just taking benefits away from everybody as the solutions or cutting wages."
At a June 23 Assembly Budget Committee hearing, State Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Government Relations Michael Egenton said the business community would like to arrange for the summit to happen in September.