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Senate President Steve Sweeney. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Sweeney backs immediate opening of parks

Senate President, four others urge economic recovery panel to see what it can do now

By Nikita Biryukov, April 28 2020 7:33 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney is on board with rolling back some of the restrictions imposed on businesses, parks and hospitals in the state.

“As we are developing plans for a full-scale re-opening, we should consider how low-risk businesses and industries can safely reopen now,” Sweeney and State Sens. Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver), Steve Oroho (R-Franklin) and Troy Singleton (D-Palmyra) said in a joint statement.

The senators said construction projects and car sales could be cleared. They also said elective surgeries could begin resuming as the strain on some of the state’s hospitals abates.

The group also said the state should explore whether it could immediately reopen its beaches, parks and golf courses.

The senators’ statements are the first to include Democratic support for reopening parks.

Governors in neighboring states have begun easing some restrictions on parks, golf courses and elective surgery.

“Collectively, we need to make sure the communities that have struggled the most during this crisis have their issues carefully considered and addressed,” the senators said. “We look forward to continuing this productive working dialogue with the Governor’s economic workgroup.”

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