Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver said the gaming summit kicking-off Friday in Atlantic City will serve as the legislative Democrats’ answer to the Hanson Commission, which was created by gubernatorial executive order.
“The Governor and the Republicans had their task force, and now Democrats have our fact-finding mission,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “Regardless of party, the goal remains the same: create a path for renewal and rejuvenation of the state’s gaming, sports and entertainment industries. All areas of the state and points of view are being represented and I am quite sure the discussions will bear that out.”
Sweeney and Oliver announced the summit as a means of bringing together lawmakers, industry leaders and policy experts to publicly examine the recommendations of the Hanson Commission – officially the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Gaming, Sports and Entertainment – released July 21.
Sweeney and Oliver named Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) to lead the talks. In addition to the co-chairs and the Senate President and Speaker, other members named to the summit include Senators Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen/Essex/Passaic) and Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland) and Assembly members Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), Matthew W. Milam (D-Cumberland/Atlantic/Cape May) and Connie Wagner (D-Bergen).
Additional meetings to be held at the Meadowlands and in Trenton are being planned.