Category: Press Release

O’Scanlon say Dems playing ‘politics’ on Moody’s rating

Declan O'Scanlon

PolitickerNJ -

Republicans and Democrats on the Assembly Budget Committee seem largely in agreement over whether the state’s latest credit downgrading is bad for the economy, and even what motivated it — but when it comes to dishing out the blame, opinions diverge predictably.

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) begged to differ with Assemblyman Gary Schaer’s comments about Moody’s rating. O’Scanlon said the downgrading clearly signals that further reforms to the pension systems are needed — and it’s Democrats who are refusing to address the issue.

“Moody’s couldn’t have made this any clearer. The Legislature’s failure to further provide pension reform is responsible for the state’s structural imbalance,” O’Scanlon said. “We need to enact further reforms to the pension system as soon as possible.”

“Trenton Democrats, who are in the majority, would rather play politics than partner across the aisle and with the administration to work on the reforms needed to make our state affordable and fix the system for current and future public employees,” he added.

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O’Scanlon Responds to Moody’s Action on NJ’s Credit Rating

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued the following statement Friday as Moody’s Investors lowered the state’s credit rating:

“Moody’s couldn’t have made this any clearer. The Legislature’s failure to further provide pension reform is responsible for the state’s structural imbalance. We need to enact further reforms to the pension system as soon as possible. Trenton Democrats, who are in the majority, would rather play politics than partner across the aisle and with the administration to work on the reforms needed to make our state affordable and fix the system for current and future public employees.”

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Fiocchi Blasts VA for Long Waits on Veterans Suicide Hotline

Press Release – Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today expressed outrage at a recent news report that an Air Force veteran, suffering from depression, was repeatedly put on hold when he called the Veterans Suicide Hotline seeking help.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Putting a veteran who is considering suicide on hold for 10 minutes or more is unconscionable,” said Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “The VA’s treatment of our veterans is deplorable. With scandal after scandal, it’s apparent not much progress has been made in getting sufficient, quality help for the men and women who valiantly served our country.

“We recently discovered that South Jersey veterans have to wait twice as long for an appointment at the Vineland VA clinic than the national average. Nearly one out of 16 appointments required a wait of nearly more than a month,” continued Fiocchi. “Now, we’re learning the VA’s suicide hotline is making veterans wait as long as 36 minutes before someone answers their call. It’s shameful their government has turned its back on them. It’s time for the VA to step up and stop this gross mistreatment of veterans.”

The Air Force veteran was initially put on hold for 10 minutes before hanging up and calling the Veterans Suicide Hotline two more times. When he did get through he said the counselor provided little comfort. Another vet was put on hold for 36 minutes. Veteran Affairs data shows that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

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Webber: New Jersey Needs Policies that Cut Taxes, Keep Families Together

Assembly Republican Press Release -

On the deadline day for filing federal and state tax returns, Assembly Republican Jay Webber called the burden on New Jersey taxpayers unsustainable. Webber said immediate reform is necessary to make the state competitive again.

Jay Webber

“New Jersey taxpayers have to work every day from New Years to May 13 – longer than any other state – just to pay our state’s outrageous tax burden,” said Webber. “Is it any wonder that people and businesses are leaving New Jersey? Young and educated college graduates can’t afford to settle here. Retirees who have paid taxes all their lives can’t afford to stay here. We must do better.”

The Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organization, determined that on average, Americans will have to work 114 days before Tax Freedom Day on April 24. In state-by-state comparison, New Jersey and Connecticut won’t hit “Tax Freedom” until 19 days later – last in the nation.

“New Jerseyans are sick and tired of feeling like they have to move to North Carolina or Florida to achieve their dreams. We need to advocate for policies that let families stay together and empower people to live here, enjoy a career, raise a family, start a business, or retire with dignity,” Webber said.

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Gove Completes Legislator-In Residence Program At Stockton University

Press Release – 9th Legislative District Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove has completed the Legislator-in-Residence Program for the Spring Semester at the Stockton University of New Jersey. Under the Program, members of the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly are invited to Stockton’s campus to interact with students and faculty.

DiAnne Gove

The Assemblywoman’s 9th District Legislative colleagues Senator Christopher J. Connors and Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf served as Stockton’s Legislator-In Residence for the Spring 2012 Semester and the 2013 Fall Semester, respectively.

“As a former teacher and current member of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, serving as a Legislator-In-Residence proved to be a very informative and extremely rewarding experience,” remarked Assemblywoman Gove. “Stockton’s faculty and administrative staff outlined a comprehensive revision for the University to build upon its tremendous success in providing the highest level of education to students. In my classroom interactions, I found the majority of students to be actively engaged in public discourse with a shared sense of obligation to better serve their communities in civic-minded capacities which is a core element of Stockton’s education philosophy.”

As Legislator-In Residence, Assemblywoman Gove met with various officials from the Hughes Center For Public Policy as well as attended classes on public policy and elementary mathematics teaching during which she answered questions from students. As a Coastal Legislator whose District was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy, the Assemblywoman toured the University’s Coastal Research Center which was originally established to assist local municipalities with coastal environmental issues related to recurring storm damage and shoreline retreat.

Additionally, Assemblywoman Gove met with representatives of the University’s Office of Veterans Affairs and veteran students. Since being elected to the State Legislature in 2009, Assemblywoman Gove has served on the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Stockton has earned national recognition for the tremendous services it provides to veteran students with the understanding these individuals have so much to offer on account of their life experiences, professionalism and ability to perform under the most difficult circumstances. In these efforts, Stockton has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to provide specially tailored services to assist veterans in achieving their higher education and career goals out of respect for and in recognition of the tremendous sacrifices that our veterans and their families have endured in their service to our nation.”

 

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Bucco: April 15 is Income Tax Deadline But New Jerseyans Keep Paying

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Anthony M. Bucco

Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco said although today is the deadline for filing income taxes, New Jersey taxpayers still have almost another month before they realize tax freedom. New Jersey’s Tax Freedom Day is May 13. It’s the date when the average worker has earned enough to pay his or her combined federal, state and local tax bill.

“New Jersey taxpayers dread April 15, and with good reason,” said Bucco, R- Morris and Somerset, who is a member of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We are the most overtaxed state in the country and for us, today is a bad dream that will keep re-occurring for another four weeks. Too many of our residents move to another state because it is so unaffordable to live here. We pay taxes the first day we start work, and keep paying them even after we die. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, estate and realty transfer taxes are enough of a reason for people to move.”

Bucco sponsors two bills that address the realty and estate taxes. Assembly bill 397 repeals the New Jersey estate tax, and A-389 eliminates three realty transfer fees.

“Estate taxes and real estate transfer fees are two onerous taxes that need to be eliminated,” stated Bucco. “Residents are looking to reduce their tax liability for themselves and their heirs. These measures will give people, especially as they get older, a reason to stay in New Jersey with their families and contribute to our economy.”

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Bramnick on Income Tax Deadline Day: Lower Taxes

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said today’s tax deadline is a reminder that reducing the tax burden must be among the highest priorities for legislators.

“It is no secret that New Jersey’s income tax structure is among the highest in the country,” said Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “New Jersey workers already pay more than their fair share. The best way to attract jobs and keep people in New Jersey is to lower their taxes and let them keep more of their hard-earned money.”

Bramnick noted that New Jersey’s Tax Freedom Day is May 13, tied for last in the country. Tax Freedom Day is when the average citizen has earned enough money to pay the year’s combined federal, state, and local tax bill.

“It is sad that New Jersey taxpayers have to work 133 days to support all levels of government,” continued Bramnick. “Workers in New Jersey have tightened their belts through these difficult times, government must do the same.”

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Angelini Calls for Extradition of Convicted NJ Cop Killer From Cuba

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Disapproves of Pending State Department Decision to Remove Cuba
from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

Amidst news reports that President Barack Obama is expected to announce that he is taking Cuba off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini is calling for extradition of convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard from Cuba.

Chesimard escaped prison and fled to Cuba after being convicted of killing a N.J. State police trooper in 1973.

Mary Pat Angelini

“I disagree with President Obama’s decision to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and am disappointed that the U.S. State Department is moving towards a decision to recommend the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors Terrorism List,” said Angelini, R-Monmouth. “Cuba continues to harbor dozens of American fugitives, including Chesimard, who was sentenced to life in prison, but two years later escaped and was granted asylum by Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro. She needs to be extradited to the United States.”

Angelini sponsored a resolution (AR198) that expresses profound disagreement with President Barack Obama to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and urges the extradition to the United States of Joanne Chesimard.

“As the wife of a retired police officer, I firmly believe that anyone who kills a police officer should be brought to justice and Joanne Chesimard should be in a New Jersey prison,” concluded Angelini.

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Fiocchi: Appointment Delays at Vineland VA Clinic Outrageous

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today said it is unacceptable that veterans wait nearly twice as long as the national average for an appointment at the Vineland VA clinic. According to government data, nearly one out of 16 appointments required a wait of nearly more than a month.

“It’s absolutely infuriating that South Jersey veterans have to wait twice as long for an appointment at the Vineland VA clinic,” stated Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “Despite a nationwide push to lessen the wait times and Congress giving the VA an additional $16.3 billion to improve patient access to care, this problem is as bad as it was a year ago.

“Veterans in South Jersey already have limited access to VA facilities and making them wait longer to get an appointment is like a slammed door in their face,” continued Fiocchi. “Enough with the excuses, someone needs to be held accountable. Our men and women from South Jersey deserve to be taken care of for their services to our nation just like anyone else.”

Fiocchi sponsors (ACR-164) which urges Congress to pass legislation permitting veterans to receive hospital care and medical services at facilities other than the facilities of the VA. If passed by Congress, the bill will establish a pilot program in the state’s Second Congressional District.

The bill was released by the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in June 2014, but has not moved since. The identical Senate bill (SCR-120) has received no action.

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ANGELINI NAMED “LEGISLATIVE CHAMPION” BY NJ ASSOCIATION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION AGENCIES

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini is being honored by the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies (NJAMHAA) for her strong leadership in helping prevent and treat substance use and mental disorders in youth and adults throughout New Jersey. NJAMHAA will present Angelini with the “State Legislative Champion for Improving Treatment Award” on April 15, 2015 at its Compassion Awards Reception in Woodbridge, NJ.

Angelini will be recognized specifically for the passage of two of her bills (A-3722 and A-3175) that improve the quality of mental health and substance abuse treatment for inmates and conditions for residents of boarding homes and other shelters.

Mary Pat Angelini

“The work that NJAMHAA does to help fight stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness and addictions is invaluable,” said Angelini. “I am so honored to receive this leadership award from an association that works to create a face for the population of individuals with mental illness and/or addictions who don’t have a voice of their own.”

“It is a privilege to recognize Assemblywoman Angelini for her leadership in moving forward so many legislative bills that promote healthy, safe children, families and communities,” said CEO of NJAMHAA Debra L. Wentz, Ph.D. “She is an unmatched advocate in calling for prevention of addictions and the provision of quality treatment for all, wherever an individual is – at home, at school, in the community, or in a state or county correctional or psychiatric facility. With Assemblywoman Angelini bringing the same outstanding leadership to mental health treatment and services, residents of New Jersey are fortunate to benefit from her tireless efforts across the full spectrum of behavioral health services.”

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