Author: NJ Assembly Republicans

Fiocchi, Business Community and Academia Explore Workforce Development and Career Opportunities

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Bridgeton, NJ – Recognizing the potential career opportunities that vocational training and technical education provide, Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi hosted a Workforce Development Roundtable discussion on Monday with businesses leaders and vocational and technical school administrators to discuss employment opportunities available to people with the proper training. The roundtable was held at the Cumberland County Vo-Tech School.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“With the closing of at least three Atlantic City casinos, many workers who make their livelihood from the industry face an uncertain future,” said Fiocchi. “The good news is that there are opportunities to transition into a new vocation. Career and technical education allows students, regardless of age, the chance to learn the necessary skills that are required. Job recruiters and educators exchanged their ideas on what kinds of jobs are in demand and where people can get the training they need. The roundtable was a great opportunity for everyone to learn.”

In May, Fiocchi introduced a package of workforce development bills designed to provide people with employment opportunities by obtaining skill sets in demand. One measure, A-3197, creates “The Partners for Growth Council,” a cross-section of organized labor, education, business and government working together to identify unfilled job openings. Members will develop training programs that address the educational needs of those seeking employment.

Fiocchi said this legislation is the perfect opportunity to match job seekers with companies that have employment needs in certain technical areas. Vocational and technical schools are the linchpin that matches the supply and demand for labor.

“I want to thank Dina Elliot, Superintendent of the Cumberland County Vo-Tech, for hosting this productive meeting. We will be holding a follow-up meeting in the late fall or winter to discuss advances or ideas that will match workers with jobs,” concluded Fiocchi.

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KEAN: Bill crucial to reforming unfair alimony system

Asbury Park Press Op-ed by Sean Kean -

Sean Kean

Legislation that will make our alimony laws fairer by modernizing an outdated system has passed the state Assembly and the state Senate and is sitting on the governor’s desk, where it awaits his action.

Ultimately, this legislation, Assembly Bill 845, will provide relief for alimony payers who are unable to comply with unrealistic court mandates.

Since 2008, I have been at the forefront of the alimony reform initiative in New Jersey. I have introduced various bills in an attempt to make the alimony system more fair and reasonable for all individuals. After many years of advocating for reform, I am pleased that A-845 has moved through the legislative process.

I am not suggesting that individuals receiving alimony awards are in any way undeserving of these payments; however, if the paying party is incapable of meeting the alimony obligation, the system must recognize this fact.

I introduced A-845 during a previous legislative session after I met with a constituent who could not afford his alimony payment after he lost his job due to the economic downturn we witnessed in 2008.

Since then, I have been contacted by numerous individuals, both men and women, who cannot afford their alimony payments. Changed circumstances, such as job loss or underemployment, often times make it impossible for alimony payers to comply with their court-ordered alimony obligations. In some cases, individuals are sent to jail for failure to pay alimony.

A-845 would provide specific grounds for modification and termination when the alimony payer retires, loses a job or otherwise has a reduction in income, or when the alimony recipient cohabits with another person. Under current law, courts invariably will not give relief to alimony payers even after retirement. For example, upon retirement, police officers and teachers receive a reduced amount when they file to collect their pensions.

However, courts routinely do not recognize these changed circumstances when these individuals file challenges to their obligations. It is an unworkable system in which aggrieved payers must pay an attorney to come in to court to reopen their case, and more likely than not, the judge will not even entertain the motion.

A-845 also would establish guidelines for an alimony award based on the length of the marriage and create a rebuttable presumption that alimony payments terminate when the payer becomes eligible for Social Security. The bill provides that the total duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage when a marriage lasts less than 20 years. The legislation states that extenuating circumstances may warrant deviation from the durational limits.

This bill also would permit modification or suspension of alimony payments when the recipient is living with another person for over three months. The provisions of this bill are crucial to bringing equity to the alimony process because the state’s current convoluted and archaic alimony statutes are neither uniform nor flexible and can often impose a serious economic hardship on one individual.

I am hopeful that Gov. Christie will sign A-845. This bill would increase fairness for both alimony recipients and payers. It is imperative that current alimony laws be amended to create a reasonable and fair system that provides for both individuals without bankrupting one of the parties.

Assemblyman Sean Kean represents the 30th Legislative District, which includes portions of Monmouth and Ocean counties.

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Bateman-Simon-Ciattarelli to staff mobile office in Montgomery Twp.

Source: The Messenger-Gazette -

Donna Simon

Jack Ciattarelli

In an effort to better provide constituents with access to Legislative District 16 lawmakers and staff, Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assembly Republican members Jack Ciattarelli and Donna Simon are informing residents of the availability of a mobile office which will be located in Montgomery Township.

The mobile office will be open Wednesday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will be located in the gymnasium at the Otto Kaufman Community Center, 356 Skillman Road, Skillman.

This is an opportunity for constituents to meet with their legislators and their staff about issues of importance and to offer ideas and suggestions. The mobile office is designed to provide a more convenient location to the legislators’ constituents while protecting their privacy and provide the comfort associated with a legislative office.

All those attending are encouraged to bring a canned good as the legislators will be collecting donations for the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

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Rible Aims to Protect Police Officers, Others on New Jersey Roadways

Press Release – Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible said recent car accidents involving police officers illustrates the need to increase awareness of New Jersey’s law requiring motorists to change lanes when approaching emergency vehicles and to expand the law to make our roads safer.

Dave Rible

Rible, who sponsored the 2009 law known as the “Move Over” law, cited recent accidents in which a Waldwick police officer was killed and two Pine Beach officers injured in calling for the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to increase awareness of the law which requires motorists to decrease speed and switch lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights on.

In a letter to Acting DOT Commissioner Joseph Bertoni, Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, said the accidents highlighted the risk for those who respond to emergencies on the state’s busy highways.

“These incidents are a frightening reminder of the dangers faced by emergency workers on our state’s roadways,” he wrote. “I request that the New Jersey Department of Transportation help to protect our emergency responders by taking urgent action to increase awareness of the “Move Over” law.

Rible also said he will introduce legislation to expand the “Move Over” law to require drivers to slow down and change lanes for any vehicle on the side of the road–not just vehicles utilizing emergency lights.

“Pulling over on our state’s highways can be a dangerous proposition for any motorist,” he said. “In addition to protecting police officers and other emergency workers, expanding the “Move Over” law will make things safer for everyone who uses our roads.”

####
See Letter Below:

Hon. Joseph Bertoni, Acting Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ 08625-0600

Dear Acting Commissioner Bertoni:

As the prime sponsor of New Jersey’s “Move Over” law, I am very troubled by recent motor vehicle accidents which have highlighted the danger emergency workers face on our highways and illustrated the need to increase awareness of this critical public safety initiative.

As you are aware, New Jersey’s “Move Over” law, which was enacted in 2009, requires motorists to slow down and change lanes when approaching a vehicle displaying emergency lights. However, the failure of motorists to heed this law has continued to endanger the lives of emergency workers, including police officers.

Moreover, a Waldwick police officer performing traffic safety duty was recently killed when his parked patrol car was rammed by a tractor trailer. In addition, two Pine Beach police officers were injured the next day when their cars were struck while they attended to a pulled over vehicle.

I am sure you would agree that these incidents are a frightening reminder of the dangers faced by emergency workers on our state’s roadways. Therefore, I request that the New Jersey Department of Transportation help to protect our emergency responders by taking urgent action to increase awareness of the “Move Over” law.

Thank you for your attention to this request and please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance in this or any other matter.

Sincerely,

David P. Rible
Assemblyman, 30th Legislative District

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O’Scanlon, Carroll Applaud Hoboken Booting Policy Change

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll today said that Hoboken was doing the right thing in changing its policy concerning the booting of vehicles. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was recently under fire when Hoboken ’s policy to immediately boot vehicles for parking violations was discovered.

Declan O'Scanlon

“Victory – for anyone living in, or visiting, Hoboken – for bipartisanship, and for common human decency,”is how Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) described the recent dramatic change in Hoboken Parking Authority Policy. “No longer will anyone return to what they thought was a legally parked car in the middle of the night only to find a heavy iron boot immobilizing it. We heard from senior citizens and pregnant women as well as inconvenienced business people – all who fell victim to the draconian policy. Apparently our shining a light on this example of the exploitation of motorists was heard by the folks running Hoboken. I could dwell on the fact that our intervention shouldn’t have been necessary, but instead I’ll just applaud them for finally getting it right.”

“Hoboken ’s policy was terrible,” explained Garcia (D- Hudson). “It was plainly unfair to boot a vehicle with no notice. Drivers would be left stranded, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Now the city will give motorists a ticket and 72 hours to move their vehicle before immobilization or towing is an option. Further, the policy was bad for business in the town. I’m happy to see the change after Assemblymen Carroll, O’Scanlon and I brought the situation to the forefront.”

Michael Patrick Carroll

“While I applaud Hoboken’s modest action and its admission of error, it doesn’t go nearly far enough and demonstrates why our bill is necessary,” said Carroll (R-Morris/Somerset). “Towns lack the legal authority to boot cars without a judicial warrant; they should not be effectively taking private property without a fair hearing. We will continue to press for the adoption of this proposal to correct this obvious injustice.”

“The time that elected officials could get away with seeing motorists not as human beings, but as targets whose pockets can be picked at will, needs to come to an end, ” said O’Scanlon. “And this isn’t a partisan concern – legislators on both sides of the aisle are realizing that the siren song of easy money doesn’t justify treating reasonably behaving people like criminals. But this doesn’t change the need for our legislation banning the practice of automatic booting. Drivers need to be protected across the state.”

“The public needs to know that the legislature, Both Democrats and Republicans, won’t tolerate the fleecing or unfair treatment of our residents,” Garcia stated “Fairness knows no political boundaries. Our efforts won’t stop here.”

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Dancer wants return of death penalty, cites fatal shooting of Jersey City cop

Source: The Jersey Journal -

A New Jersey lawmaker is arguing that the fatal shooting of Jersey City Police Det. Melvin Santiago should lead to the state reinstating the death penalty.

Ron Dancer

Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Jackson, said Santiago was “targeted for murder,” and that the public supports a return of the death penalty to bring “the full weight of justice in crimes such as this,” according to Chasing New Jersey.

“I believe that the time is now to reinstate the death penalty for these heinous, violent crimes when it comes to murdering law enforcement officers, when it comes to murdering a child or a terrorist,” he told the news show.

Santiago, 23, was killed last Sunday in what police have called an ambush at the Walgreens at Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue. Officers on the scene returned fire, killing the assailant.

New Jersey repealed its death penalty in 2007 under former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat.

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Dancer Pushes To Reinstate Death Penalty In NJ

Source: Chasing New Jersey on Mn9NJ.com [video] -

In the wake of the turmoil in Jersey City and the recent murder of Officer Melvin Santiago, New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer says that the state needs to reconsider reinstating the death penalty.

Dancer believes that the death penalty is the full force of justice.

“I believe that the time is now to reinstate the death penalty for these heinous, violent crimes when it comes to murdering law enforcement officers, when it comes to murdering a child or a terrorist,” he explained.

My9 New Jersey

Dancer believes that due to recent events New Jerseyan’s will see the need for this change.

“Officer Santiago was targeted for murder and I see right now that the public is going to once again, like they did in 2002, want to support the reinstatement of the death penalty as the full weight to justice, not vengeance, the full weight of justice in crimes such as this,” Dancer said.

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Auth: Democrats Take Wrong Approach on Taxes

Source: Bergen Record (letter from Asm. Robert J. Auth) -

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

Recently my Democratic colleagues in the General Assembly manifested a misunderstanding of the plight of the citizens and the business community of New Jersey. A bill (A-3485) attempted to raise the gross income tax rate on taxable income exceeding $1 million to 10.75 percent for a three-year-period.

For those who buy into this type of class warfare at first glance, let me suggest what the unintended consequences might be. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tried to stimulate New York’s economy in his Start Up New York program, a package of incentives boldly advertised nationally, and targeted in the northern New Jersey area specifically, in an effort to lure businesses across the border. Cuomo is implementing a sound marketing strategy. He has laid out the welcome mat and declared to job creators that “We want you.”

Rather than raising the gross income tax rate on tax filers earning more than $1 million, including businesses, as Majority Leader Louis Greenwald proposed, New York offers businesses the opportunity to operate 100 percent tax-free for 10 years — no income tax, business, corporate, state or local taxes, sales and property taxes, or franchise fees. New York provides incentives to help grow small business.

New Jersey needs to keep pace with New York in creating new businesses and loyally support existing businesses. Raising taxes does not achieve that goal. Rather, cutting taxes would help build the businesses that create jobs and prosperity for our state.

Robert Auth is a Republican Assemblyman representing the 39th Legislative District.

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Rible: Examining School Testing is a Very Good Start

Source: Times of Trenton (letter from Asm. Dave Rible) -

Dave Rible

There was a time when kids were allowed to be kids. Today, however, children are forced to grow up ahead of their time due to a host of societal and technological challenges. The internet and social media, cyber bullying, school shootings, drugs and alcohol, even playing school sports – with the constant pressure to win – are causing stress levels among youth to skyrocket.

Add to that list excessive academic testing, which today has taken on a life of its own.

Regular curriculum exams, such as math, history and science, and state-mandated standardized tests are no longer sufficient. Students are now bombarded with a plethora of other types of testing. There are benchmark tests, used to prepare students for the state-mandated NJASK (New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge) exam, and the non-mandated NJ STAR Math and Language Arts assessments that are administered every two or three months.

Students are now subject to the federal Common Core State Standards, while the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) assessments begin next year. It’s time to stop this “testing” madness and the burden it’s placing on students and teachers.

Thankfully, Gov. Christie recently created a commission to review the effectiveness of all K-12 student assessments. This is a step in the right direction. We need to allow teachers to spend more time teaching and preparing students for future success instead of teaching them how to take tests.

The key is finding the right balance that will allow our schools to prepare our children for success but, at the same time, lets our kids be kids. This commission is a good start.

Dave Rible is a Republican Assemblyman representing the 30th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly.

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Dancer-McHose Bill seeks to boost NJ’s wineries

Source: Express Times - Gov. Chris Christie recently signed into law a measure promoting agricultural tourism on preserved farmland. The state’s Agricultural Development Committee will now establish a 44-month pilot program that allows special events on preserved farmland at wineries.

Ron Dancer

State officials did not immediately know why the trial period was set at 44 months.

“With this law, farmers will now have the ability to promote their operations without conflicting with the spirit of their farmland preservation,” according to a statement from Assemblyman Ron Dancer, whose district includes portions of Middlesex and Monmouth counties.

Dancer co-sponsored the bill with Assemblywoman Alison Littell-McHose, a Republican whose district includes portions of Hunterdon and Warren counties.

“If we don’t allow farming to evolve, farmers will disappear even though their land has been preserved,” McHosesaid in a statement. “People look for special places to hold their special events and this will allow New Jersey farms to meet that demand. It’s a win for the consumer, a win for the farmer and for our wineries. It benefits everyone.”

Alison Littell McHose

Special events would be allowed on preserved farmland at wineries provided they take place on Fridays, weekends or holidays and make use of the winery’s grapes to promote agricultural tourism. The law — S837 or A1272 — also dictates that events use existing farm buildings, open-air pavilions or buildings used in winery operations.

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