|Name||Stephen M. Sweeney|
|Address||360 Nottingham Road |
West Deptford, New Jersey 08096, United States
|| June 11, 1959
Aug 20, 2019 10:10am
|Info||Financial Secretary-Treasurer & Business Representative: |
Ironworkers Union Local No. 399.
Gloucester County Freeholder Director 1997-present.
Stephen M. Sweeney, of West Deptford Township, represents the Third Legislative District of New Jersey. He was sworn in to his first term as a New Jersey Senator in January of 2002.
Senator Sweeney was born June 11 in Camden, and is a graduate of Pennsauken High School. He is a business representative for Iron Workers Local No. 399 in Westville.
Mr. Sweeney has served on the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1997, and has been a director of that body since 1998. As a freeholder, Senator Sweeney earned recognition for founding the South Jersey Power Cooperative, which has saved four South Jersey counties more than millions in utility costs since its inception.
A strong advocate for organized labor and labor causes, Senator Sweeney was named Democratic Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee following the announcement of the departure of Senator Joseph Charles in July, 2003. Senator Sweeney also serves as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, and was named Co-Chairman of the South Jersey Legislative Caucus in June of 2003.
Since being elected, Senator Sweeney has worked to further a number of issues that affect his constituents in South Jersey and improve conditions for laborers throughout the State.
Senator Sweeney sponsored the new law allowing municipalities and other public entities to enter into project labor agreements (PLAs) when beginning a construction project. PLAs are useful tools that have been adopted by private industry which allow the contractor and the employer to enter into a contract prior to the beginning of construction which establishes the terms and conditions of employment and prohibits the use of strikes and lockouts. PLAs save money in the long run because they lessen the chance of cost overruns and work stoppages, and contribute to decreased labor unrest, which can sometimes cause shoddy workmanship on a project.
Senator Sweeney also sponsored a law authorizing the Delaware River and Bay Authority to establish an ethanol plant in Southern New Jersey, the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ethanol, a gasoline additive, is the product of the distilling of corn. The plant is expected to not only generate jobs for South Jersey, but also supply a new market for farmers in the region.
In response to heightened security warnings around potential targets such as nuclear plants since the September 11th terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, Senator Sweeney pushed to allow security guards at these plants to carry assault weapons and high-powered ammunition to better protect the security of New Jersey residents. The bill, which was signed into law in September 2003, also requires guards to undergo mandated training in the use of the firearms before getting access to the weapons.
The Senator has worked to make sure that family members of police, firefighters and emergency response workers killed in the line of duty are fairly compensated for their loss. He sponsored the law which provides state pensions to surviving family members of volunteer firefighters and emergency services workers who die in the line of duty, as well as the law that removes the remarriage prohibition to receive death benefits for spouses of police officers and firefighters killed while serving the public good. Senator Sweeney also sponsored the law providing health benefits to National Guard members who serve for 30 days or more on state active duty.
Senator Sweeney received national attention for his sponsorship of "Maggie's Law," which establishes driving while seriously fatigued as a form of driver recklessness. The first law of its kind in the United States, "Maggie's Law" would require that sleep-deprived drivers, who have been up for 24 hours or more, would face up to 20 years in jail and fines up to $150,000 if they get into fatal car accidents caused by their lack of sleep. Senator Sweeney first pursued the legislation when he was contacted by the mother of Maggie McDonnell, a Washington township resident who was killed in a car accident with a driver who had been up for over 30 hours without sleeping.
Senator Sweeney has been active in a variety of local organizations. He serves on the Community National Bank of New Jersey and the Gloucester County Solid Waste advisory councils, is a former trustee of the Southern New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative and the Union Organization for Social Services, and is a former member of the West Deptford Township Environmental Board. He was also the construction coordinator for the Union Field Stadium and a construction captain for the Field of Dreams, both located in West Deptford Township.
Mr. Sweeney is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Gloucester County, and chair of its Public Employees Charitable Giving Campaign. He also sits on the Board for Special Olympics of New Jersey.
Mr. Sweeney's accomplishments in public service have earned him several honors, including the 1999 Alliance for Action "Elected Official of the Year" award. He was also named by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors as "Freeholder of the Year" for 2000.
Senator Sweeney and his wife, Patti, were married in 1986. They live in West Deptford with their two children, Stephen and Laura.