The Arc of New Jersey's Executive Director Tom Baffuto released the following statement following the recent concession by Senate President Sweeney.
"The Arc of New Jersey would like to take this opportunity to express our eternal gratitude for Senate President Sweeney's years and years of work on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families living across the state. Although we will try, there is no way to fully illustrate the significant and positive changes New Jersey residents with IDD have experienced because of Steve Sweeney. For people with disabilities, he is a champion on everything from employment, transportation, community living, and equal rights, just to name a few. He made sure people with IDD would not encounter organ donation discrimination based on their disability. He eliminated use of the R word in New Jersey. He brought together the business community and disability stakeholders to create pathways for employment. He worked to improve accessibility of the state’s transportation systems. He pushed for funding in many State Budgets to solidify our Direct Support Professional workforce. I could go on and on about his many contributions, and it still would not capture his incredible impact. When he approaches the issues facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, he does so with passion and enthusiasm. He understands the issues facing our community and when he doesn’t know, he seeks out input and stakeholder feedback to determine how to make things better. That was always Steve’s goal. To make New Jersey a better place to live for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I can say without reservation, that he succeeded."