Watson Coleman: “Swift But Thoughtful Response” Required in Atlantic City

Although action is needed, I have serious reservations about the proposal before the State Senate, including concern that this legislation would provide unprecedented authority to Governor Christie to shred existing contracts, undermine collective bargaining rights, and disenfranchise Atlantic City residents.

f t # e
Washington, DC, April 13, 2016 | comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington DC (April 13, 2016) ― Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement on the Atlantic City, NJ fiscal crisis and proposals for state intervention:

“Atlantic City requires a swift but thoughtful response to rectify their dire fiscal crisis. Although action is needed, I have serious reservations about the proposal before the State Senate, including concern that this legislation would provide unprecedented authority to Governor Christie to shred existing contracts, undermine collective bargaining rights, and disenfranchise Atlantic City residents. Furthermore, while this proposal has been introduced in the context of Atlantic City’s problems, the takeover mechanisms in this bill threaten workers’ rights and local democracy across the entire state—including municipalities in my Congressional district. Language this broad should give us all pause.

“As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I questioned Michigan Governor Rick Snyder over his state’s admitted failure, poisoning thousands of Flint children with tainted water. We learned from Flint that one-sided, poorly-considered state takeover initiatives can have permanent negative consequences, and allow the same state officials who took control to shirk accountability when things go wrong. That is why Atlantic City needs a strong but measured approach that promotes sustainable solutions.

“I am reluctant to support giving any Governor this kind of carte blanche authority, but based on his long history of efforts to decimate unions and undercut public sector employees, I am especially reticent about offering it to Governor Christie. The people of Atlantic City deserve better than an anti-democratic power grab at their most vulnerable hour, and its workers deserve more than a plan that forces public sector employees and unions to shoulder the brunt of austerity measures when they did not create the problem in the first place.”

f t # e

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.