South Jersey Times – Speaking to a meeting of the Bridgeton Rotary Club, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney said that the role of state government and local civic organizations is critically important in helping to address the needs of the disadvantaged and to provide support for communities. Sweeney spoke about priorities that have been acted upon at the state level, including the minimum wage, extended assistance for the homeless and education funding.
“We are continuing to push for a rise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour because working people can’t support themselves or their families on the current wage,” said Sweeney. “This increase would also provide a boost to the economy by putting more money into economic activity.”
Sweeney said that actions taken in Trenton can have a real impact on local communities and their residents.
“Just last month we sent a bill to the governor to help people with emergency assistance so they can avoid homelessness,” said Sweeney. “It requires the state to lift the time limit on any emergency assistance repaid back to the state. Currently people are limited to 12 months’ worth of help if they become homeless or are at immediate risk of homelessness.”
Speaking to the value of a quality education and equal opportunities for all students, Sweeney addressed the importance of reforms to the school funding formula.
“Education is the most powerful tool we have for helping people be successful,” said Sweeney. “That’s why I’ve been so busy over the last year talking about bringing full funding to every school district in New Jersey. For Bridgeton, full funding would provide an additional $21.5 million.”