Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson is calling on New Jersey Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts to post a bill for a vote by the full Assembly that would designate casino inspectors as essential personnel. Passage of this legislation would ensure that Atlantic City?s casinos could remain open in the event of a state shutdown such as that which occurred last Fourth of July holiday during the state budget stalemate.

“The 2006 casino closings, during the most important week of the summer season, resulted in extreme hardships for thousands of casino workers who were forced to decide whether to pay their mortgages or buy food for their families,” explained Levinson. “The closure not only caused financial hardship for tens of thousands of local families, but adversely affected Atlantic City?s status as a world class tourist destination.”

According to Levinson, A-3439 would prevent such a situation from recurring by allowing the casino inspectors, who are paid by the casinos and not New Jersey taxpayers, to continue to perform their duties during a state government shutdown.

“I am aware that Governor Corzine will present his budget message on February 22 and that the Legislature has slightly over four months to pass another budget. It would be devastating for the citizens of Atlantic County and all of New Jersey, if we were to endure another budget impasse in 2007 without this legislation firmly enacted.”

For more information, please contact Howard J. Kyle, Chief of Staff, at (609) 343-2368.

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