Author: NJ Assembly Republicans

Dancer introduces bill protecting NJ schools’ federal aid and students’ privacy rights

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Ron Dancer introduced legislation committing the legal assistance of the attorney general to New Jersey schools threated with the loss of federal funding for failing to meet the Obama administration’s new guidelines for transgender students provided our schools are fully compliant with New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.

Ron Dancer

“We are witnessing an unprecedented overreach by the federal government,” said Dancer (R—Ocean). “Schools in New Jersey have educated students of all races, religions and genders, without discrimination, for decades. In 2006, New Jersey amended the Law Against Discrimination to specifically provide that “Gender Identity or Expression” is now a protected class against discrimination.”

Last month, in a letter to more than 16,000 school districts that receive some form of federal funding, the Federal Department of Education declared that requiring transgender students to use same-sex restroom facilities violates Title IX, the 1972 law prohibiting discrimination based on sex. The guidance letter suggests that schools failing to follow the guidelines risk losing federal money.

Under Dancer’s bill (A3976), should the State’s Attorney General find that the policy of a school on the treatment of transgender students is in compliance with New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, then the state’s top legal talents from the attorney general’s office will be ready to defend our schools from having its’ federal aid reduced or eliminated.

“This legislation will not only further New Jersey’s public policy on protecting all students against discrimination, but at the same time, recognize and protect the privacy rights of all students as well,” said Dancer. “No student should be accessing same-sex facilities, such as, bath rooms, showers and locker rooms as a thrill seeker for the sole purpose of violating the privacy rights of another student.”

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Wolfe weighs in on dueling school funding plans

 

Dave Wolfe

Source: NJSpotlight  - Since Gov. Chris Christie and state Sen. Steve Sweeney proposed competing plans for remaking school funding in New Jersey, it’s been more talk than action.

Both Christie and Sweeney have gone on public campaigns to muster support for their proposals, each winning their share of endorsements for what are radically different paths.

But there has been little to no legislative action on either plan. That’s partly because some heavyweight topics like pensions and transportation are under debate, but also because there are questions as to whether either proposal has the political legs to get enacted.

Christie’s plan to equalize funding across the state took one step forward last week, when Assembly Republicans filed the legislation that would put his proposal on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.

One of the prime sponsors of the proposed resolution, state Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-Ocean), said he knows the proposal is a “long shot” when it comes to winning support — or even progressing much — in either the Assembly or Senate, both controlled by Democrats.

“I can do the math of how many Democrats there are,” Wolfe said yesterday.

But since it is also sponsored by state Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union), the Assembly minority leader, the Republican proposal is at least meant to continue the debate in the Legislature, Wolfe said.

“We are really looking to provoke a discussion,” he said. “This is a different alternative.”

There has been no shortage of such debate, as both Christie and Sweeney have been barnstorming the state to promote their plans…

Wolfe also said yesterday that his and other Republicans’ aim is to keep the topic on the front burner. He cited other long-running Republican proposals to remake funding that should be considered as well.

“Let’s look at all the proposals out there, and not just assume we can continue to keep getting what we got last year,” he said.

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Bramnick can’t support TTF gas tax agreement without broad-based tax relief

Source: Politico New Jersey -

The state Legislature appears yet again to be headed toward a collision with Gov. Chris Christie after the Democratic leaders cut a new deal on Friday to raise the state’s gasoline tax and replenish the Transportation Trust Fund, throwing out a sales cut the Republican chief executive had been seeking.

The agreement ends an odd, month-old alliance between Christie and Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both of whom supported the sales tax cut even as Senate Democrats balked at the idea, calling it too expensive.

Jon Bramnick

 

“The Senate president and speaker never discussed this plan with me,” Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said. “The fact that it doesn’t include Republican input does not make any sense to me.”

 

Before Christie swept in at the last minute in June and reached the agreement with Prieto for a one-penny reduction in the sales tax and a 23-cent hike in the gas tax, both houses were preparing to move legislation that Christie was expected to veto. Democrats — and, privately, even some Republicans — said it was going to be the first time the Legislature successfully voted to override the powerful governor.

But the discussion ended with the Prieto-Christie alliance. The speaker has repeatedly said since then that Senate President Stephen Sweeney needed to work out his differences with Christie. That never happened.

With the Democrats united again, they say Christie needs to play ball.

Several people in the governor’s press office did not respond to a message seeking comment on the new proposal, which makes several changes to the earlier legislation that was supported by both houses in June.

The governor had already said that plan didn’t include enough tax cuts to meet his definition of “tax fairness” — an undefined threshold that, he said, must be reached before he’ll agree to new taxes. This latest plan includes $897 million in tax cuts, but the legislation Christie had been supporting included about $1.7 billion in cuts.

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said on Friday he was not consulted before the Democratic leaders announced their new agreement. He said he was aware the Senate had planned to put a plan forward, but did not know Prieto was involved.

Bramnick said there is no way he would support it without broad-based tax relief.

“The Senate president and speaker never discussed this plan with me,” he said. “The fact that it doesn’t include Republican input does not make any sense to me.”

The new plan includes a new income tax deduction of up to $500 for all taxes paid on gas, available to those making less than $100,000 annually, and a $3,000 personal income tax exemption for veterans. It also includes some cuts that were included in the earlier legislation: A phase out the estate tax in 3 1/2 years; new exemptions on retirement income as high $100,000 and partial exemptions up to $150,000; and an increase in the earned income tax credit from 30 percent of the federal level to 40 percent.

Bramnick said he still likes the idea of a sales tax cut, and said it is “the only plan that not only has Republican votes but has the blessing of the governor.”

When asked if he could support this plan with amendments, he said, “I’m not going to get into the actual negotiations. I am willing to have further talks as well as we have broad, across the board, tax cuts.”

He added, “I think we need a lot more discussion — bipartisan discussion.”

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Christie Talks up Bramnick’s Leadership Skills at RNC

Source: PoliticerNJ -

Jon Bramnick

At a breakfast meeting of the GOP delegation to the Republican National Convention, Gov. Chris Christie “threw a bouquet,” in the words of NJTV Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron, to Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21).

“There is no more effective leader in our party than Jon Bramnick,” said Christie, pointing at the minority leader in the crowd, while Acting Governor Kim Guadagno pulled back home duty.

Guadagno has shown every indication that she means to succeed Christie as governor.

For Michael Aron’s full report, including the clip of Christie giving Bramnick a shout-out, click here.

To see the comedy routine Bramnick performed in Cleveland, click here.

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Ciattarelli blasts Jersey City mayor over school funding

Source: Jersey Journal -

A Republican lawmaker from Somerset County is again taking aim at Mayor Steve Fulop, saying the mayor’s recent boast about the city’s tax rate demonstrates the need for school funding reform statewide.

At issue is an email Fulop’s campaign sent to supporters yesterday about the 2016 city budget, which comes for the third year in a row with no municipal tax increase. Flat taxes are proof the Fulop administration can “make government work well,” the Democratic mayor said in the email.

Jack Ciattarelli

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-Somerville, in a statement this afternoon linked Fulop’s crowing about the city budget to the heavy subsidies Jersey City’s public schools receive from state taxpayers. The school district in 2016-17 will receive $420 million in state aid for its $673 million annual budget, a fact that irks Republican and even some suburban Democratic lawmakers statewide.

“The mayor’s boasts, which only add insult to injury to taxpayers across the state, call attention to just how terribly flawed and blatantly unfair the current distribution of state school aid is,” Ciattarelli said. “And it is exactly the reason we desperately need school funding reforms that are fair to taxpayers across the state.”

Ciattarelli called out Fulop last year on the city’s tax abatement policy. Both men are considered possible gubernatorial candidates next year.

 

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Ciattarelli says revitalization of Jersey City demonstrates need for school funding reform

Jack Ciattarelli

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli issued a statement today on how the renaissance of Jersey City is positive proof of the need for a better way to fund New Jersey schools that is fair to all taxpayers:

“Every now and then Jersey City’s mayor will boast of the renaissance in Jersey City, which is indeed great news. Case in point is a recent e-newsletter, in which the mayor said:

‘Without increasing taxes, we have been able to hire 150 additional police officers, increase the city’s open space by 10%, implement the state’s first paid sick leave policy, increase minimum wage for all city employees, and construct housing for homeless veterans. We have also been able to lead the state in the number of construction starts, and have created more jobs than any other large city in New Jersey.’

“What the mayor never boasts, despite Jersey City’s economic fortunes, is weaning his school district off a state subsidy paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey.

“Of Jersey City’s annual $665 million school budget, $420 million or 63 percent is paid for by citizens around the state – citizens who pay exorbitantly high property taxes because they’re subsidizing Jersey City’s school system. After all subsidies, Jersey City pays less than 20 cents on the dollar for its schools.

“The mayor’s boasts, which only add insult to injury to taxpayers across the state, call attention to just how terribly flawed and blatantly unfair the current distribution of state school aid is. And it is exactly the reason we desperately need school funding reforms that are fair to taxpayers across the state.”

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Rumana lauds state’s record job growth

Scott Rumana

Press Release – Assembly Republican Whip Scott Rumana (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris) today said the latest job creation report released by the state Department of Labor which shows that a record 22,200 jobs were created in June is great news for New Jersey.

“The way to make New Jersey affordable for all residents is to implement policies and pass legislation that creates opportunity for job growth,” said Rumana, a member of the state’s Red Tape Review Commission. “Policies that cut burdensome regulations, coupled with incentives and a focus on business growth and job creation, are paying huge dividends for our state and its economy.”

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), June was the best month for private sector job growth in New Jersey in 20 years.

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O’Scanlon excited about record job growth in June and overall worker confidence in New Jersey

Declan O'Scanlon

Press Release – Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican budget officer, commented on the state Department of Labor report today that 22,200 jobs were created last month.

“It is great news that businesses have the confidence in our state economy to build the greatest level of growth in almost 20 years,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “It’s even more exciting that New Jersey workers are significantly more confident to find a job here than nationally. The fact that people in our state are more excited to find or get a better job here rather than the rest of the country shows we need to continue with the pro-business policies set by Governor Christie and not change course.”

According to state Department of Labor’s release, the national labor force participation rate is only 62.7 percent while New Jersey’s is 64.2 percent. The labor force participation rate measures the number of people employed or actively seeking work, and New Jersey’s rate has continued to exceed the national rate.

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Bramnick praises largest month of single private sector job creation since 1996

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said today’s announcement by the state Department of Labor that New Jersey gained 22,200 jobs in June – the best month for private sector job growth in 20 years – is great news for the people who live and work in the state.

“The business community realizes that Governor Christie still has their back and his policies continue to prove it,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “After fully recovering all the jobs lost during the recession earlier this year, this is a strong and encouraging trend.”

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Brown lauds passage of anti-BDS bill

 

Chris A. Brown

Source: Jewish Community Voice“We have no greater ally in the Middle East than Israel, and it’s in America’s economic and security interest to make sure Israel remains strong and stable,” said Assemblyman Chris Brown, (R-Atlantic) sponsor of a bill preventing the state of New Jersey from investing in companies that boycott, divest or sanction Israel. That bill—S- 1923/A-925, was passed by the Senate in May and approved by the General Assembly on June 27.

“From what I‘ve learned, the BDS movement is rooted in hate, and not truly motivated to help the peace effort,” said Brown, who participated in a Federation Mission to Israel for legislators earlier this year. “An economically strong Israel is the only way to ensure stability and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement seeks to de-stabilize Israel by punishing it economically. S- 1923/A-925 would counter that effort by prohibiting the state of New Jersey from investing its pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott, divest from or sanction Israel or Israeli businesses. The Senate version had previously been approved. It was anticipated at press time that Gov. Chris Christie would sign the proposed legislation into law. s

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