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Gov. Phil Murphy, left, with Senate President Steve Sweeney before the governor delivers his annual budget address to a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature on February 25, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

Sweeney says Codey is right

Tells Murphy to include Republicans — and Democrats — in discussions over state reopening

By David Wildstein, May 20 2020 3:20 pm

It may have taken a pandemic, but Senate President Steve Sweeney and former Gov. Richard J. Codey are on the same page about bringing Republicans to the table to talk about reopening New Jersey after the COVID-19 shutdown of non-essential businesses, and says he wants Democratic leaders involved too.

“Former Governor Codey is right – Republican leaders should be brought to the table, but the same should be done for Democratic legislative leaders,” Sweeney said. “We all need to be fully informed and allowed to contribute to the decision-making process as we confront this unprecedented crisis.”

Codey told the New Jersey Globe on Wednesday that Republicans should be included in the discussion, praising Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick.

On Tuesday, Bramnick said that Murphy had failed to put together a coalition to ease the state back to a new normal.

“Governor Murphy has done a good job in flattening the curve of coronavirus cases but we now have to take on the important challenges of how to resume activities and reopen businesses in safe and responsible ways,” Sweeney stated.  “This is not only a health crisis, it is a social crisis and economic crisis that impacts almost every aspect of our lives.”

Sweeney thinks the governor and legislative leaders from both parties “should be working together in collaborative and constructive ways with all the state’s leaders participating and contributing.

“There is a lot at stake, and we all share in the determination to do what’s best for the people of New Jersey,” he said.

It’s been a long time since Sweeney and Codey were on the same side.

In 2009, then-Senate Majority Leader Sweeney unseated Codey as Senate President.

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