Category: Clips

Bramnick suggests Republican Bridgegate committee members are hitting a breaking point

Source: PolitickerNJ - A top Assembly Republican indicated Wednesday GOP legislators serving on the legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closings are hitting a breaking point.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-21) says GOP lawmakers are in discussions about whether they will continue to be a part of the joint legislative committee investigating the Gov. Chris Christie administration over the bridge controversy.

Jon Bramnick

“We’re going to meet and discuss what the future is going to be with this committee,” Bramnick told PolitickerNJ.

“The Republican members of the committee have not been consulted at all,” he said. “We’re going to review the history of this committee’s leadership to determine whether they will continue to receive bipartisan [involvement].”

The statement comes after the committee’s co-chairperson, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) told PolitickerNJ he was “frustrated” with the documents the committee recently received from the law firm hired by the administration to conduct an internal review of the controversy.

“I’m frustrated,” Bramnick responded.

“We expect to be treated as participants and not as observers,” he said. “These members want to be a part of the decision making process, not be informed of the decisions.”


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Fiocchi says it can happen in any neighborhood -Vineland shooting that killed 2 still under investigation

Source: South Jersey Times -

City police continue to investigate possible suspects following a string of violence and shootings that occurred Sunday night into Monday morning, which left two dead and two injured.

Police were originally dispatched for a home invasion around 11:26 p.m. on Sunday at C&D Apartments on the 700 block of Humbert Street. It was there that an unknown group of subjects entered the apartment forcefully to confront a resident and an altercation took place. The home invaders left the scene before officers arrived, police said.

While officers were still investigating the home invasion, there were reports of gunfire at 12:55 a.m. on the 800 block of East Montrose Street. Police reported two men found injured at the scene

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

Monday morning’s shootings should be a lesson to law enforcement and lawmakers, according to Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (R-1), to strengthen the fight against violent crime and for the community to get involved.

“The worst mistake is for people to think it can’t happen in their neighborhood,” Fiocchi said. “We must continue the dialogue with law enforcement officials on how to address this problem and I urge anyone with information to contact their local police department.”

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Fiocchi calls for community cooperation as authorities link Vineland shootings to dispute at party

Source: Atlantic City Press -

A home invasion and a pair of shootings that have now resulted in a second death may have started with yet another confrontational event this past weekend, city officials said.

At least some of the four people who were shot were involved in a dispute at a private party that included some possible suspects, Mayor Ruben Bermudez said.

That dispute eventually spilled over to what police described as a home invasion at a residence at the C & D Gardens apartment complex late Sunday evening, he said. The dispute eventually moved to East Montrose Street and East Park Avenue early Monday morning.

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, R-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, is also calling for a citywide effort to combat violence.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“It is up to lawmakers, law enforcement officials and the community to work together to help each other,” said Fiocchi, a city resident. “Whether that involves providing information or reporting suspicious activity, people’s welfare and lives are at stake.

“The worst mistake is for people to think it can’t happen in their neighborhood,” he said.

The investigation into the home invasions and two shootings continues, and authorities are trying to piece together what happened, said Lt. Matt Finley of the Police Department here. One of the possibilities is that the incidents were gang-related, he said.

Finley said one suspect, whom he would not name, is considered to be armed and dangerous.




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Maria Rodriguez-Gregg takes part in overnight sleep-out for homeless youth

Source: The Marlton Telegram -

Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg did more than talk about the issue of homeless youth on April 11. The Republican assemblywoman, who represents Burlington, Atlantic and Camden counties, took part in an overnight sleep-out in order to draw attention to a social problem that exists across the country. Rodriguez-Gregg helped raise $2,000 in the sleep-out event.

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

“Not everyone realizes the magnitude and scope of young people who have no place to go and no where to turn,” Rodriguez-Gregg said. “As a mother of young children, it is heartbreaking to know that so many youth are troubled or not wanted in their homes. At such a young age, they are certainly vulnerable to predators that can lead them down a dangerous path.”

The sleep-out was organized by the Covenant House, New Jersey’s largest provider of services to homeless youth. Eighteen members of the legislature joined together in a bipartisan effort to raise money for the organization by pledging to spend the night on the State House lawn with little more than sleeping bags and cardboard boxes for bedding.

In addition to the Sleep Out event, the legislators heard from at-risk youth who benefit from programs like those provided by the organization. All money raised by the Sleep Out goes directly to programs sponsored by Covenant House.

“We must do all we can do to raise people’s consciousness about a problem that is not confined by geography and has no specific demographic profile,” Rodriguez-Gregg said. “We must lead by example and let our troubled youngsters know there is hope and a place to turn when all seems lost. There are people who care and resources available to help those who feel unwanted or neglected. I hope the sleep-out increases awareness about this challenge and that we are a compassionate society that wants to help.”

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Dancer Editorial: Warning of speed traps / Perfectly legal

Source: Press of Atlantic City - We have a new hero – Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean.

Dancer is sponsoring a bill, A2922, to make it explicitly clear that there is nothing illegal about a driver flashing his or her headlights to warn another motorist that there is a speed trap ahead.

Ron Dancer

Actually, a U.S. District Court judge and a two-judge appellate panel in New Jersey have already ruled that flashing one’s lights to warn an oncoming driver of a speed trap is perfectly permissible.

But Dancer and others worry that police are not aware of those decisions.

Dancer says that flashing one’s lights is a free-speech issue, and we agree. Besides, as the assemblyman notes, flashing the lights to warn an oncoming driver of a speed trap has exactly the same positive effect as the speed trap itself – it makes people slow down.

This all should be rather obvious. Stopping and ticketing a motorist who has signaled oncoming drivers is simply a vindictive overreaction by police officers…

There’s plenty of real crime and real threats out there for police officers to focus on. Ticketing people who flash their lights at oncoming motorists is neither necessary – nor legal.

Lawmakers should approve Dancer’s bill if for no other reason than to send a message to the law-enforcement community.

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On tax deadline day, Bramnick calls for cuts in state levies

Source: Newsworks (WBGO) -

As procrastinators sent in their federal and state income tax returns Tuesday, a New Jersey lawmaker called for enactment of some tax cuts.

One of the bills sponsored by Republican lawmakers would phase out the state’s inheritance tax over a five-year period — even though that might result in a drop in state revenue.

Jon Bramnick

“So people don’t leave out state and move to Florida where they don’t have an inheritance tax,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. “The numbers show that it’s not lot of money. I can’t give you the exact numbers, but I can tell you that it’s not that burdensome, and I think the governor would support it.”

Other measures proposed by the Republicans would cut the state sales tax from 7 percent to 6 percent and would provide a property tax credit of up to $1,000.

“It is part of a message to business and to consumers that New Jersey is the place to shop, New Jersey is the place to live, and New Jersey is the place to open your business,” he said.

The legislation would make New Jersey more competitive with other states, said Bramnick, R-Union. But he acknowledged it will be difficult to convince the Democratic majority in the legislature to pass those bills.

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Bramnick: Every Day is Tax Day

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Tuesday was Tax Day, the deadline for filing income tax returns, but the top Republican in the state Assembly said every day is Tax Day in the high tax environment of New Jersey. He urged the legislature to get to work on a trio of tax-cutting bills.

Jon Bramnick

“It is time now for the state legislature to begin the process to roll back high taxes,” said Assembly GOP Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). “We need to give back money to property taxpayers through a bill we call the New Jersey Direct Property Tax Relief Plan.”

The property tax relief bill would offer up to a $1,000 deduction on property tax bills depending on a person’s income. Homeowners with incomes up to $400,000 would be eligible. The measure also includes higher credits for renters.

“We also need to reduce the sales and use tax from 7 to 6 percent,” Bramnick said. “We need to send a new message so April 15 can become a holiday, as opposed to a painful day.”

Another bill supported and co-sponsored by Bramnick would phase out the New Jersey Estate Tax over five years. Under the legislation, the amount of estate tax calculated as due under the existing structure will be reduced by 20 percent each year until it no longer exists. Bramnick knows that the argument against cutting taxes is that the state will lose revenue.

“The only way to increase revenues is to bring businesses and jobs to the state of New Jersey,” Bramnick said.

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Bramnick: ‘We’re on the side of taxpayers’

Source: Burlington County Times - With dozens of mayors and other local officials behind him, Gov. Chris Christie on Monday called on the Democratic leader of the New Jersey Assembly to schedule a vote to reinstate a limit on salary increases that an arbitrator can award police officers and firefighters.

A 2 percent cap on the raises had been in effect since 2011, but it expired April 1 after the Assembly failed to approve a measure that would have extended the limit for another three years.

Jon Bramnick

Christie and officials said the cap was a proven tool that helped municipalities control salaries and slow the growth of New Jersey’s notoriously high property taxes. Without it, they said towns and counties will be forced to lay off employees, cut crucial services or ask residents to approve large tax hikes…

State and local officials at the rally said the arbitration cap wasn’t anti-police and firefighter but was intended to protect taxpayers.

“Read our bipartisan lips: Lower our taxes,” Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-21st of Westfield, said at the start of the event. “Let’s continue to lower taxes and show New Jersey we’re on the side of taxpayers.”

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Bramnick at arbitration cap rally: ‘Lower our taxes’

Source: NJBiz - Gov. Chris Christie called on Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) Monday morning to post a bill seeking to readopt a now-expired law that would cap interest arbitration awards for police and firefighters at 2 percent per year.

“Speaker of the Assembly, if you post this bill, believe me it will pass,” Christie said.

Jon Bramnick

Flanked by a bipartisan mix of municipal, county and state officials at a rally in Trenton, Christie said the cap had previously afforded municipalities the ability to keep property taxes down…

But as Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) noted at the event, now is “not the time to stop the momentum.”

“Read our bipartisan lips,” Bramnick said. “Lower our taxes.”

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O’Scanlon Statement on Interest Arbitration Bill

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued the statement below following a press conference held by Gov. Christie today explaining the need for the conditionally vetoed interest arbitration bill (A-3067) to be passed:

Declan O'Scanlon

“The two percent arbitration cap is an essential part of managing our property tax issue. Simple arithmetic makes it obvious that allowing an arbitrator to award a three percent increase or even greater when we have a two percent property tax cap would force towns to raise taxes, reduce services or cut back their workforce. These reductions could impact public workers and property taxpayers who are not covered by the arbitration bill, but would become casualties if we don’t retain the cap.

“The governor conditionally vetoed the original arbitration bill because he knows the devastating effect it would have had on property taxpayers. There is bipartisan support for the cv’d bill by mayors and legislators across the state. They realize it is vital in helping control property taxes by allowing municipalities to manage costs. The law, which expired on March 31, was working. Property tax growth has declined to its lowest levels in 20 years.

“Those who advocate moving the bill are more than willing to talk. Very few people have spent as much time studying this issue that I have. To no avail, I have expressed on numerous occasions my willingness to discuss and help bring the appropriate stakeholders to the table. Notwithstanding my openness to discussion, the laws of mathematics are not open to negotiation. I hope the Assembly will reconvene and concur with the Senate on the bill as quickly as possible.”

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