Author: NJ Assembly Republicans

O’Scanlon to introduce legislation alleviating MVC wait times

Revamping the driver’s license renewal system will ease ‘end of month rush’ at MVC locations

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon today unveiled legislation to curb wait times at motor vehicle offices. O’Scanlon’s proposal would change driver’s license expiration dates to each driver’s birth date. Currently licenses in New Jersey expire at the end of each driver’s birth month – leaving MVC offices with long wait times at the end of the month dealing with a large volume of license renewals.

“I’ve been working with Governor Christie’s administration on legislation that would ease the long wait times that New Jersey drivers experience when renewing their license at their local MVC office. I am pleased that the Governor has thrown his support behind this common sense solution to a serious problem facing New Jersey’s drivers. I urge legislative leadership in both houses to post the bill – which will be introduced during our next session day – so we can end unnecessarily long wait times for New Jersey residents and drivers.

“This legislation recognizes that it’s human nature to procrastinate. The way the system is set up now we have 12 days a year – the last day of every month – upon which drivers’ licenses expire. If you spend any time at an MVC you can’t miss the bottleneck that this causes the last few days or week of every month. By going to a birth date expiration schedule we will eliminate the bottle neck. It’s a common sense solution that’s worked in other states. New Jersey motorists have been plagued with long wait times – we owe it to them to do all in our paper to alleviate that inconvenience. We are currently working with Commissioner Martinez’ office on the final bill. Again I applaud the administration for taking these issues seriously,” O’Scanlon concluded.

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Bucco backs MVC reforms to improve customer service

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Anthony M. Bucco

Deputy Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco (R-Morris) today issued the following statement supporting Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed reforms to improve service at Motor Vehicle Commission offices:

“While the MVC has come a long way under Commissioner Martinez’ leadership, the process should be more efficient. I proudly support the governor’s reasonable changes. These reforms will increase satisfaction, reduce transaction times and help eliminate frustration levels for New Jersey drivers. I look forward to working with the administration and plan to sponsor the legislation implementing these reforms.”

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Gove, Rumpf Vehemently Oppose Gas Tax Hike

Source: The SandPaper -

Brian Rumpf

DiAnne Gove

A proposed 23-cent per gallon gas tax increase had New Jersey motorists buzzing at the end of June.

Drivers got a reprieve when that legislation, which had been passed by the Assembly and had the support of Gov. Chris Christie, died when the Senate refused to vote on the bill.

The issue, however, isn’t going away. The New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund, which pays for road and bridge projects throughout the Garden State – exceptions include the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, which rely on toll revenue, and federally funded projects such as the work on the causeway bridges that connect LBI to the mainland – as well as New Jersey Transit expenditures such as the planned purchase of 772 cruiser buses, is running on fumes. Christie ordered a halt to work on all projects that rely on TTF funding on July 1 and that order remains in effect.

So the battle over how to replenish the fund continues in Trenton. Democrats control both houses of the Legislature, and their leaders locked horns back in June, with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto clashing over ways to reduce the sting of a gas tax increase by reducing other taxes in the state. Prieto, backed by Christie, proposed rolling back the state’s sales tax from 7 to 6 percent; Sweeney offered a lengthy package headed by a gradual elimination of the estate tax. They could not reach agreement at that time and the 23-cent gas tax hike died.

On July 23 Sweeney and Prieto reached a complicated compromise that does not include a reduction in the sales tax but instead would phase out the estate tax over the course of 3.5 years, increase the earned income credit for the working poor, give a $500 income tax deduction for all motorists with an income under $100,000 and a $3,000 income tax exemption to all veterans. But the 23-cent gas tax increase remained.

That’s something Southern Ocean County’s legislators – Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove – won’t stand for. They released a blistering joint statement on Monday that called the gas tax hike “regressive and unconscionable.”

“Simply stated, the majority of our constituents cannot afford an excessive gas tax increase and still pay their bills …

“Unquestionably, our constituents will be even more disparately impacted by the fact that there is no mass transportation in the general area. Our legislative district is largely composed of commuters living in bedroom communities who drive considerable distances to their jobs.

“More than 126,000 of our constituents are registered EZPass users, the most of any legislative district in the state. This is significant as suburban and rural area residents will be hardest hit by the gas tax increase just as they were with the (former Gov.) Corzine toll hikes.

“In the end, our constituents won’t get a good return on having to pay more at the pump as a substantial amount of the revenue from the gas tax increase will go to fund mass transportation projects primarily located in urban areas. It will be the same situation as State school aid. Suburban and rural residents will subsidize urban areas that will receive a windfall of funding, only in this case for mass transportation.

“Worse for our district is that recreational boaters and commercial fisherman also stand to be hit hard as well, which is sure to have a ripple effect on local economies in our area, including those still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. More broadly, the increase in fuel costs incurred by businesses will only be passed on to consumers via higher-priced goods and services.”

Connors, Rumpf and Gove have a plan for funding the Transportation Trust Fund that is simplicity itself.

“One proposal already considered by the Assembly included increasing the gas tax but then reducing the sales tax by a penny. Why not dedicate a penny of the existing sales tax to fund transportation projects without raising any tax?”

Christie is expected to veto the new Democratic plan should it come to a vote so the Democrats are trying to round up enough GOP votes to override that veto, something that has not happened in Christie’s time in office. It is obvious they’ll never get those votes from Connors, Rumpf and Gove.

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Phoebus, Space honor Water Gap NRA on 100th anniversary of National Park Service

 

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

Source: New Jersey Herald - Two area state Assembly members were co-sponsors of a joint Legislature resolution which honors the National Park Service on its 100th anniversary.

The resolution, approved unanimously by the state Senate and Assembly in late June was signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Saturday, said Assembly members Gail Phoebus and Parker Space, who represent the 24th Legislative District which includes the New Jersey portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area…

About 35,000 of the approximately 67,000 acres of the Water Gap park are in New Jersey. Just under a third of the park’s total area is in Sussex County.

The park — all units within the NPS are informally known as “parks” — also includes the Middle Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and 28 of the 72 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that runs through New Jersey. “The National Park Service helps New Jersey preserve its natural and cultural heritage and create close-to-home recreational and educational opportunities,” said Phoebus. “It does a tremendous job of preserving our historical parks, trails, monuments and scenic rivers.”

Space said, “Visiting any one of the 15 natural and historical sites in New Jersey is not only enjoyable, but the tourism generated helps strengthen our economy.”

Parker Space

Among the 15 units of the park service in New Jersey are the Delaware Water Gap and the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area; three national historical parks, Morristown, Paterson Great Falls and Thomas Edison; two national trails, Appalachian and Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route; the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island national monument; five designated wild and scenic rivers, Great Egg Harbor, Middle Delaware, Lower Delaware, Maurice and Musconetcong; a national heritage area, Crossroads of the American Revolution; and the nation’s only national reserve, New Jersey Pinelands.

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Bramnick calls on Democrats to submit funding proposal fair for all towns

Jon Bramnick

Press Release – Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) released the following statement today challenging Democrats to submit a proposal to make school funding more fair:

“Governor Christie and many Republicans have supported changing how we fund schools. The Democrats may disagree with us that each student should receive $6,599, but they remain silent on any change. We are all aware that lowering property taxes must start with changing the school funding formula.

“I call upon my friends across the aisle to submit a proposal to make school funding more fair to all towns.”

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Phoebus-Space resolution recognizing 100th anniversary of National Park Service signed by Gov

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

Press Release – A resolution (AJR-101) sponsored by Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus and Assemblyman Parker Space that recognizes the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which occurs on August 25, has been signed by Gov. Christie.

“The National Park Service helps New Jersey preserve its natural and cultural heritage and create close-to-home recreational and educational opportunities through various programs that millions of visitors enjoy each year,” said Phoebus (R-Sussex). “It does a tremendous job of preserving our historical parks, trails, monuments and scenic rivers. If you have never visited any of these sites, I would encourage you and your families to do so especially during this centennial year.”

“The National Park Service has been an outstanding steward of our beautiful natural resources for the past 100 years,” said Space (R-Sussex). “Visiting any one of their 15 natural and historical sites in New Jersey is not only enjoyable, but the tourism generated helps strengthen our economy.”

Parker Space

The National Park System comprises 410 units covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, including monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

In Northwestern New Jersey, the National Park Service oversees the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Appalachian Trail, and America’s first national historical park, the Morristown National Historical Park.

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Brown bill to increase Shore protection funding clears committee

Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Chris Brown to protect the state’s 141 miles of pristine shoreline by increasing funding to the shore protection fund has received approval from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.

“The Jersey Shore is the lifeblood of the state’s $40 billion tourism industry,” said Brown (R-Atlantic). “In Atlantic County alone, one out of every three jobs is supported through tourism, so shore protection funding is an investment in our economic security.”

Chris A. Brown

The bill (A-2954) increases the amount annually credited to the shore protection fund from $25 million to $50 million without increasing taxes.

Brown noted a number of beach events along the coast, like concerts and monster truck races, are popular attractions that visitors come to expect from shore towns.

“As a member of the Assembly Tourism Committee, I listened to testimony on how places like Ocean City, Maryland are aggressively trying to steal tourists away from the Jersey Shore,” Brown said. “When storms ravage our shoreline, our local towns need to rebuild our beaches quickly so we can keep attracting visitors.”

Brown worked closely with The Jersey Shore Partnership, the lead group advocating for the increased funding for our beaches. The organization is the state’s leading advocate and champion of beach replenishment and restoration.

The Assembly and Senate Environment committees held a joint public meeting Thursday in Toms River to take action on Brown’s bill.

The shore protection fund supports projects like e beach replenishment and construction and maintenance of bulkheads, jetties, and seawalls.

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Gov signs Bramnick resolution recognizing the National Park Services’ centennial anniversary

Press Release – A resolution (AJR-101) sponsored by Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick that recognizes the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which occurs on August 25, was signed by Gov. Christie.

Jon Bramnick

“Protecting our nation’s beautiful natural resources is a challenging task. The National Park Service is to be commended for doing a tremendous job year after year,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “In New Jersey, our scenic historical parks, recreation areas and trails attract millions of visitors from around the country and the world each year. The tourism generated by these sites provides significant benefits to our economy. During this centennial year, I encourage our residents to celebrate this milestone by visiting one of these natural wonders.”

The National Park System comprises 410 units covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, including monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

In New Jersey, the National Park Service oversees three national historical parks, two national recreation areas, two national trails, a national monument –Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, five wild and scenic rivers, a national heritage area – Crossroads of the American Revolution, and the nation’s only national reserve – the New Jersey Pinelands.

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Dancer: NJ Shouldn’t Tax Olympic Medals, Earnings

Source: Observer Politics – Thirty five of the athletes competing in Rio at the Olympics hail from New Jersey. Because of that, Republican legislators have introduced identical bills in both the state Senate and Assembly in order to prevent athletes from returning to the Garden State only to be faced with a massive income tax bill.

Ron Dancer

As it now stands, athletes who medal earn $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze from the United States Olympic Committee. Those awards are subject to state and federal income tax. Medals themselves are also taxed at value ($564 for gold, $305 for silver).

State Senator Sam Thompson and Assemblyman Ron Dancer, both of New Jersey’s 12th district, take issue with the taxation of such earnings…

“When New Jersey athletes return from the Olympics, they should not be greeted with a tax bill,” said Dancer. “Winning an Olympic medal is a tremendous feat. These men and women have worked long and hard to represent our country and state on the world stage. We should celebrate their accomplishments, not punish their success. This is a measure we can all champion in the spirit of sportsmanship and civic pride.”

If enacted, the legislation would make all medals won on or after January 1, 2012 exempt from income tax payment.

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Dancer: Pay gap for women employees is intolerable

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Ron Dancer

Assemblyman Ron Dancer today responded to a new study on gender pay inequality released by the National Women’s Law Center.

“It is intolerable that women are paid less than men for doing the same job,” said Dancer (R—Ocean). “We have made great strides toward equality, but we’re still in the dark ages when it comes to pay checks.”

Last spring, Dancer introduced an Assembly joint resolution (AJR99) establishing an Equal Pay Day on the second Tuesday of April, representing the 102 extra days a typical woman works to make the same as a man.

“Pay should be based on the quality of work, and race and gender should have no effect. It is discouraging that a half-century after the passage of the Federal Equal Pay Act we still have employees making 60 percent of their colleague’s pay for no other reason than their gender,” said Dancer.

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