Category: Press Release

Bateman-Ciattarelli-Simon Congratulate Hillsborough, Again Named One of the Top Small Towns in the United States

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Sen. Kip Bateman, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, all R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex commended the residents, businesses and elected officials of Hillsborough after Money magazine tabbed the township as one of the best places to live in the country. Hillsborough, ranked No. 30, is the only New Jersey town in Money’s newly released Top 50 list. This is the fourth time in recent years the town has been spotlighted by the publication.

Jack Ciattarelli

“Hillsborough residents and elected leadership have earned this well-deserved attention,” said Ciattarelli. “It is no secret that this is a great town with so much to offer, from beautiful open space to its top-rated public school system. I am proud to represent Hillsborough and call it ‘home.’”

Donna Simon

“We are very proud to represent Hillsborough,” said Simon. “Hillsborough is a dynamic community. Hillsborough has received many awards including #16 in Money magazine’s Top 50 Places to live in 2013, New Jersey Monthly’s 2013 Top 10 Best Towns in NJ, top 20 safest places to live by Safewise in 2014, and it has been recognized for its low tax base and award-winning schools. Hillsborough is very fortunate to have such great stewards in their elected leaders. Congratulations, job well done!”

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African American Chamber of Commerce Presents DeCroce with ‘Women Who Empower’ Award

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican BettyLou DeCroce was honored at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) luncheon Wednesday, Aug. 26. DeCroce was presented with the “Women Who Empower” award during the luncheon, part of the organization’s 2015 Speaker Series.

BettyLou DeCroce

BettyLou DeCroce

“I am honored to be recognized by this outstanding organization that does so much great work promoting self-sufficiency, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the best aspects of capitalism in our communities,” said DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “This award symbolizes the economic empowerment of men and women to believe in themselves and achieve personal and business success. Our country was built on that same independent spirit.”

John E. Harmon Sr., President / CEO of the AACCNJ and Regional Vice President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, said DeCroce, “Has been an outstanding partner who, as a small business owner herself, understands the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and others to be successful in New Jersey. We cannot thank her enough for all she has done through the years to help our organization, first as a Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and now as a Legislator.”

The AACCNJ is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activities within the State of New Jersey and via interaction with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

For more information, visit the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey web site at www.AACCNJ.com.

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Ciattarelli Statement Concerning the NJEA Leadership’s Working Relationship with State Legislators

Assemblyman to meet with the NJEA President

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Republican Jack Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, issued the following regarding the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and the need to continue discussions in areas where parties both agree and disagree. Ciattarelli and the union’s president have agreed to meet.

Jack Ciattarelli

“While seeking to improve our public school system, as I do other governmental systems, including my own (i.e., the Legislature), I celebrate teaching as a vocation and profession. On the subject of education, I always address the need for greater parental responsibility. As for charter schools, it is well known that I am not a fervent advocate for charters in all districts. I have always made myself available to the New Jersey Education Association and would say I have a good to very good working relationship with the majority of teachers and educational professionals in my district. More personally, my wife and I have enrolled our four children in public schools. I believe in and fully support public education.

“Other than the Assembly Speaker and Senate President, I am the only legislator to offer a comprehensive and detailed teachers’ pension reform plan – one we can honor and afford. The plan provides a more equitable school funding formula, reduces our unfunded liabilities, and adds $3-plus billion to the current annual teachers’ pension payment.

“Despite efforts to forge a productive working relationship with the NJEA, its leadership seemingly places partisanship over problem-solving.

“Case in point are statements in their recent announcement regarding NJEA support for strictly Democratic members of the state Assembly. One very disappointing example is NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer’s statement, ‘Now, more than ever, NJEA members understand the vital importance of electing pro-public education candidates.’

The entire NJEA announcement can be viewed at http://www.njea.org/news/2015-08-01/njea-pac-endorses-54-candidates-for-legislature

“Does not being in complete agreement with the NJEA on how to solve the teachers’ pension crisis or how best to measure student growth and teacher performance necessarily mean someone is not pro-public education? Is the NJEA saying only those who are in perfect agreement with the union are pro-public education? Might statements in the NJEA announcement possibly escalate tensions in the community between the union and elected leadership, if not undermine efforts for bipartisan compromise?

“As State Assemblyman for the 16th Legislative District, it is my job to represent all citizens and maintain, as best I can, a healthy working relationship with important constituencies. I contacted NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer to request a meeting, which he agreed to. I look forward to discussing with Mr. Steinhauer the NJEA announcement and mutual goals for public education in New Jersey.

“Let us respectfully debate and disagree, keeping in mind that we cannot move this state forward with rhetoric that is not conducive to problem solving.”

Key points of Ciattarelli’s teaches’ pension reform plan include:

  • No community is allowed to fund less than 25 percent of their school budget through the local tax levy (some communities fund less than 15 percent of their school budget, while others fund more than 90 percent);
  • No community can abate school property taxes on new development (to encourage development, communities can abate municipal and county taxes if they so choose);
  • For all current and future teacher retirees, no post-retirement Medicare Part B reimbursement if their pension plus social security equals or exceeds $30,000/yr.;
  • For all teachers with less than 10 years in the system, their pension account is switched over to a defined contribution pension plan (e.g., 401k);
  • All newly hired teachers go immediately into defined contribution pension plan and their pension and Social Security are paid for by the local school district, not the state; and
  • ‘Cadillac’ health insurance plans are discontinued for all newly hired teachers and all others at end of current contract.

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Dancer Bills Upgrade Penalties for Selling Unborn Baby Body Parts, Requires Doctors to Detail Potential Risks

Assembly Republican Press Release -

In response to the videos of Planned Parenthood officials selling fetal parts, Assemblyman Ron Dancer is sponsoring legislation to increase the penalties for selling the body parts of aborted babies. A companion bill he is sponsoring establishes criminal penalties for physicians who fail to inform patients if the decision to donate fetal tissue will alter the nature, performance or timing of the abortion procedure.

Ron Dancer

“The videos of Planned Parenthood officials charging for fetal body parts are inhumane and disgusting,”” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Middlesex. “Destroying a viable life is horrific enough, but to think that body parts can be sold to the highest bidder as if one were on a shopping trip is beyond belief. While I am a believer in the sanctity of life, even those who are pro-choice, find the profiteering of body parts despicable.

Federal and state law prohibits the sale of donated fetal tissue. Dancer’s bill upgrades the crime in New Jersey from a third to second degree crime, making it punishable by five to 10 years in prison and up to a $300,000 fine, or both.

The other bill requires the physician to inform a person donating fetal tissue, prior to written consent, if the procedure will in any way alter the nature, performance, or timing of the abortion. It has been reported that the procedure may be altered when the objective is to harvest an intact organ, such as a liver or kidney. A physician who fails to provide this counseling information may be found guilty of a fourth degree crime that carries a prison term of up to 18 months, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

“Sound ethical principles must include a physician detailing the potential risks in donating fetal tissue from an abortion, especially when a procedure is altered to retrieve certain intact and undamaged body parts.” explained Dancer. “Communicating the process involved and making her aware of the risks are a doctor’s fundamental and ethical responsibility. It is crucial this discussion occur before an informed consent is signed and there is a full understanding of what it is involved.”

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Bramnick Says Nuclear Arms Deal with Iran is Dangerous to Israel and the World

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, called upon Congress to oppose and speak out against the proposed nuclear arms agreement with Iran:

“We cannot allow a country to call for the destruction of Israel and accept them as a partner for peace. I have heard nothing from the Iranian government that respects the existence of Israel.”

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Schepisi to Receive Award at Women’s Political Caucus of NJ’s Luncheon

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi will accept the “Carol Murphy Award” at the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey’s 2016 Passion * Power * Progress Awards Reception on January 21. The award, named in honor of the late Assembly Republican Majority Conference Leader, is presented for advancing policies in support of women and families.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

“I am grateful to receive this award, created in tribute to this amazing woman and trailblazing female legislator,” said Schepisi, R- Bergen and Passaic. “As a state representative, I am dedicated to ensuring that women can afford to live here and raise their families. I am committed to fundamentals New Jersey women deserve – equal paying jobs, quality education and healthcare. I am honored to be recognized by this organization that champions the same causes.”

The Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey’s mission is increasing the number of women in elected and appointed office, promoting the participation of women in the political process, and achieving equality for all women through political

The reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 21, at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. For more information, visit WPCNJ.org.

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Dancer-Clifton Leading Effort to Preserve Open Space at Showplace Farms

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton are leading an effort to save Showplace Farms, which announced it will be closing on Oct. 1. The facility covers over 150 acres in Millstone Twp., and includes racetracks, a therapy swimming pool, paddocks and a blacksmith shop. Showplace Farms opened in 1979 and has been the venue for many of the nation’s most successful race horses and trainers. Dancer and Clifton both represent Millstone Twp.

Ron Dancer

“Every effort must be made to preserve Showplace Farms for open space and maintain its beautiful landscape,” said Dancer. “We are not only losing over 100 jobs with the Farms’ closing and the relocation of over 400 horses to out-of-state equine facilities, but we are concerned about the possibility of the grounds being sold for development. I am encouraged by our initial meeting with the owners’ representative of Showplace Farms as well as local and state officials to find a way to protect this land.”

The two legislators held an initial meeting last Friday to discuss and formulate an action plan to preserve Showplace Farms’ prime real estate frontage on Rt. 33 from the threat of development.

Dancer and Clifton were joined by Mr. Howard Schoor, representing the owners of Showplace Farms and officials from the state, county and local levels, including: Patricia Butch (Monmouth County Agricultural Development Committee); Nancy Grbelja (Monmouth County Save The Horse Committee); and Amanda Brockwell (Monmouth Conservation Foundation). The Monmouth Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, will assist to facilitate the preservation process.

Rob Clifton

“I am encouraged by the support and concern expressed by the stakeholders we met last Friday,” said Clifton. “We all agree that finding a solution that protects the beauty of Showplace Farms and maintains its rural nature is what we’d like to achieve. Assemblyman Dancer and I understand the importance of this issue to the community and will do everything we can to assist in preserving this as open space.”

The stakeholders will meet again this Wednesday, Aug. 19.

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Schepisi Bill Opening NJ to Biofuel Production Signed Into Law

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi and signed into law this week paves the way for new jobs for in the expanding biodiesel industry for New Jersey workers.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

“The biodiesel industry is expanding rapidly, and it is time for New Jersey to get in on the action.” said Schepisi, R- Bergen and Passaic. “Until now, New Jersey was one of only two states in the U.S. without statutes in place for converting natural fats, greases and plants into renewable, clean biofuel in an environmentally friendly way. As there was not clarity as to what constituted a biodiesel fuel exemption, biodiesel businesses were reticent to invest dollars in New Jersey towards this industry.”

The Governor’s signing of Schepisi’s bill, S-2599/A-4121 means New Jersey is open for business. The development of just one biodiesel plant can create 200 construction jobs, 35 to 40 long-term, good-paying jobs for plant employees, and more than 800 jobs in related industries like trucking and agriculture.

“The expansion of this new industry into our state will spark needed economic growth in waterfront and track-side areas, and it will put thousands of people to work,” said Schepisi. “This is the start of a new era of sustainable, renewable fuel production.”

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Governor Signs Rodriguez-Gregg’s Bill Reforming State’s Juvenile Justice System

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg to relieve an overburdened criminal justice system and rehabilitate young offenders was signed into law this week by Governor Christie.

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

“Other states have been successful with similar reforms,” said Rodriguez-Gregg, R — Burlington, Atlantic and Camden. “These are common sense reforms that ensure fair treatment for juveniles without compromising public interest and safety.”

Texas and Georgia have made comparable changes. The reforms have been delivered measurable improvements to the corrections systems and been deemed successful.

“An overburdened corrections system means overburdened taxpayers, and it is that relief that makes this legislation a win-win package of reforms,” said Rodriguez-Gregg. “This is fiscally responsible reform.”

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Ciattarelli Welcomes New Accounting Law Shedding Light on the Impact of Tax Abatements

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Citing abatements as a major factor in navigating New Jersey’s very challenging fiscal obstacle course, Assembly Republican Jack Ciattarelli welcomed a new rule approved by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) that shines light on abatements and their impact on taxpayers.

Jack Ciattarelli

“Fiscally speaking, we’re experiencing a very painful squeeze and crowding out effect with our state budget. Tax abatements are one of the reasons why,” said Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “The new GASB rule on abatements is long overdue and will go a long way toward providing the kind of transparency that can only help in addressing the abatement issue at every level of government.”

The new rule, which was approved Monday and goes into effect next year, requires municipal government officials to disclose the total of property, sales and income taxes that have been waived. This new transparency benefits taxpayers who must make up for the lost revenue, and bond-buyers who invest in municipalities.

“In trying to solve the state’s problems, we need policy makers at all levels of government to take the issue of abatements very seriously,” said Ciattarelli. “At the municipal level, these abatements are not only an exploitation of our state school funding formula, they are an injustice to homeowners and tenants who receive no break on their property taxes or rent.

“Abatements are also an issue for the capital markets. For example, when a municipality that abates property taxes sells bonds, buyers are not always aware that the community’s ability to pay back those bonds may be diminished by the abatements,” Ciattarelli continued.

Ciattarelli acknowledges that some municipalities already provide some information on abatements previously granted.

Ciattarelli’s comprehensive proposal for pension reform includes two points addressing the impact of abatements on school funding:

  • No community is allowed to fund less than 25 percent of their school budget through the local tax levy (some communities fund less than 15 percent of their school budget, while others fund more than 90 percent); and
  • No community whose local school budget is funded more than 50 percent by federal and state aid can abate school property taxes on new development.

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