NJ Senate leader champions consolidation as money saver

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 New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, D-Thorofare (Mel Evans/AP Photo, file)

New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, D-Thorofare (Mel Evans/AP Photo, file)

Combining services is the key to fiscal stability, says a New Jersey legislative leader.

On a telephone town hall with AARP members, state Senate President Steven Sweeney said people need to rethink government in order to save money.

Part of that is shared services, he said.

“You got to convince people in the state it’s OK if someone picks up your trash and it doesn’t have the name of the town on the side of the truck,” he said. “It’s OK as long as the services are there.”

Gloucester County has saved millions by sharing services such as farming out inmates to other counties, Sweeney said.

“We spent $28 million a year housing people,” he said. “It’s now $14 million … real savings that reduce the cost of government.”

Democrats in the State House still want to increase taxes on millionaires, Sweeney said,  but Gov. Chris Christie continues to fight that effort

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