Category: Press Release

Fiocchi Renews Push for Manufacturing Rebound

Legislator’s Package Held-Up in Committee while Yet Another Factory Closes

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi used the announced closing of a Millville glass plant this week to urge the Legislature to move his proposals encouraging companies to create manufacturing jobs in New Jersey.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“South Jersey can’t wait any longer for the legislative leadership in Trenton to finally address bringing manufacturing jobs back,” said Fiocchi. “Over the past 20 years, our manufacturing superiority has diminished, hurting the job prospects for middle and working class families especially here in South Jersey,” said Fiocchi.

Fiocchi noted the plant closing is especially hard for South Jersey, which has the highest unemployment rate in the state and was ravaged last year by the closure of four casinos that affected 10,000 workers. Almost 150 employees at the Gerresheimer Glass Company will lose their jobs this summer, less than a year after the business laid off 100 other workers.

Last year, Fiocchi introduced a package of five bills that would stimulate the manufacturing sector. Those bills were assigned to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee but have not been given a hearing.

“Not too long ago, Millville was a thriving manufacturing hub. Steady jobs and good careers were available, and families could afford to raise their children in a nice home,” said Fiocchi. “Those jobs have all but disappeared. The only thing worse than the abandoned factories is the empty wallets of the workers without jobs.

“Manufacturing jobs bring an average wage of $77,000 annually and has to be part of any effort to grow our South Jersey economy,” concluded Fiocchi. “The proposals I’ve introduced will help build our industrial employment by making critical investments and reducing the costs of working in New Jersey.”

Fiocchi’s five-bill package, introduced last April that the Assembly should act on immediately, includes:

A-3110: This measure addresses the changes that have taken place in the industry over time by reducing the number of manufacturing jobs required to qualify for state Economic Development Authority (EDA) financing and incentive programs. Many manufacturing operations require less manpower today due to advances in technology.

A-3111: One of the primary reasons New Jersey suffered sizable job losses in manufacturing is the high cost of electricity. This bill would provide a partial sales tax exemption for energy and utility service to certain manufacturers.

A-3112: This legislation is designed to tilt the manufacturing playing field back to the U.S. as Asian economies have become less competitive. It permits the EDA to provide financial assistance to businesses that relocate to New Jersey from sites in Asia.

A-3113: Provides protection for manufacturing companies that set up shop in New Jersey by prohibiting the state and municipalities from applying new regulations for the first 10 years of operation.

A-3114: Establishes a construction and workforce recruitment and training website in the state Department of Labor and Worker Development.

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Ciattarelli-Simon Pleased Manville Benefits from Blue Acres Buyout Program

Jack Ciattarelli

Donna Simon

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, both R-Somerset, Morris, Mercer and Middlesex, lauded Wednesday’s announcement by Gov. Christie that Manville is now a beneficiary of the Blue Acres Buyout Program. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection, allows willing homeowners to sell their houses at pre-Sandy market value. The home purchased in Manville is the 300th property acquisition since the program’s inception two years ago.

Manville has historically been plagued by flooding. The borough often has problems absorbing water resulting from rainfall, runoff and back flooding from the Millstone River and other waterways such as the Raritan River and Royce Brook.

“New Jersey’s Blue Acres program is a welcome relief to eligible Manville homeowners,” said Ciattarelli. “As the Raritan and Millstone rivers continue to reclaim the flood plain, too many homeowners have repeatedly endured the heartache and hardship of flooding. Considering all the ways taxpayer money is used for flood mitigation, the Blue Acres program is the most effective. Eligible homeowners receive a fair market value for their homes and the property is then deeded in perpetuity to open space.”

Last month, the owners of a Manville home accepted the state’s offer of $185,000 to purchase their repeatedly flooded house which they had owned since 2000.

“We appreciate Governor Christie’s and DEP Commissioner Martin’s efforts,” said Simon. “We are proud to represent Manville and pride ourselves on being hands on Legislators. We are very pleased that this program has been successful and will continue to work towards the next group of buyouts in our district becoming a reality.”

Simon and Ciattarelli, along with Sen. Kip Bateman, sponsor legislation (S-139/A-259) that establishes the Hunterdon–Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force. The task force is charged with reviewing past flooding events in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. They are tasked with recommending measures to reduce future impacts resulting from flooding on residents, businesses, and local government units.

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Simon Named to Three Key Education Subcommittees

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Donna Simon, a member of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, has been selected to serve on three newly created subcommittees to evaluate critical educational issues.

Donna Simon

“I am honored to serve on the Joint Committee and look forward to focusing on fostering the best educational opportunity for each student in New Jersey,” said Simon, who has been on the Joint Committee since March of 2014. “We must place the education of our children first. A recent study by the NJ High School Redesign Steering Committee reports that 40 percent of students attending New Jersey Public Colleges and Universities need remediation, and approximately 70 percent of entering freshmen at New Jersey community colleges take at least one remedial course. Together we must address systemic issues, achievement gaps, hiring and retaining high performing teachers, classroom resources, failing schools and a quality education for each student, regardless of where they live.”

Simon, R – Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, will serve on the following subcommittees: Innovative Practices contends with school choice, charter schools, and virtual learning; Data, Research and Evaluation focuses on the Department of Education’s New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJ QSAC) and educator evaluations and Student and Field Services addresses special education after school programs and career and technical education.

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Muñoz Hosts Kean University Roundtable Discussion on Domestic Violence

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Nancy Munoz

Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, led a panel discussion today on domestic violence hosted by Kean University’s Center for History, Politics, & Policy. Muñoz organized the roundtable which included leading nursing organizations, practitioners and professors. The group discussed the education and role of nurses in dealing with domestic violence.

“I am committed to addressing the issue of domestic violence and its far reaching effects on our society. I understand the unique and important position nurses occupy in our health system,” said Muñoz. “I want victims of domestic violence to know that they can openly discuss this issue with any nurse. The exchange of information and approaches used in counseling victims is a tremendous benefit for both nurses and those they treat.”

The roundtable included the following organizations: New Jersey League of Nursing; New Jersey State Nurses Association; Society of Psychiatric APN’s; New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault; New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women; New Jersey State School Nurses Association; Kean University School of Nursing; Rutgers University School of Nursing; Barnabas Health; and St. Joseph’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center.

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Bramnick on Memorial Day: Honor and Remember

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, issued the following statement commemorating Memorial Day:

“Memorial Day is a time to thank our American heroes who made the greatest sacrifice to keep us safe and free. We honor their lives, salute their service and remember that we owe them gratitude for many of the liberties we enjoy. Our nation is stronger because of the brave patriots who paid the ultimate price for our country.”

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Fiocchi Statement on Memorial Day: Remember The Lives Lost For Our Freedom

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, R – Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic, issued the following statement about Memorial Day.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Each year on Memorial Day, we honor and remember the brave heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and for our freedom. The selfless dedication and patriotism these warriors demonstrated on the field of battle must never be forgotten.

“In wars fought across the globe, the promising lives of too many young people have been lost in defense of America, our flag, and our way of life. We honor these brave warriors and mourn their loss as we cherish and protect the liberties they fought to preserve.”

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O’Scanlon Statement on Impact of Volatility on State Budget

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, released this statement after discussions during today’s Assembly Budget Hearing regarding the volatility of the state’s gross income tax (GIT) and its impact on the state budget:

Declan O'Scanlon

“New Jersey already relies too heavily on the extremely volatile gross income tax. The GIT accounts for a large part of the state budget, making New Jersey’s revenue stream susceptible to an economic downturn. Volatility is further increased by the GIT’s progressive structure, one of the most aggressive tax formats in the country.

“Volatility in a budget is not a good thing. The people most impacted are the folks who are the beneficiaries of New Jersey state services, property taxpayers, and anyone with school-age children. The Democrat legislative leadership has once again proposed a tax on the “wealthy” which will increase our budget volatility even more.”

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O’Scanlon Statement On Retiring OLS Budget Director David Rosen

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Declan O'Scanlon

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued the following statement after David Rosen, who is retiring as Budget Director for the Office of Legislative Services, testified for the final time before the Assembly Budget Committee:

“Those of us on the Budget Committee, indeed every taxpayer in New Jersey, owe a debt of gratitude to David Rosen for his years of dedicated service. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have benefited from the quality of his work, and very much appreciate his dedication, thoroughness and professionalism. I offer my thanks and best wishes to Mr. Rosen.”

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O’Scanlon Statement On The Impact of Business Tax Relief On Job Creation

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, issued the following statement regarding testimony and questioning at today’s Budget Hearing on State tax credits issued to businesses:

Declan O'Scanlon

“Whether we agree or disagree with business tax incentives, it is impossible to make the argument that reducing business incentives can possibly improve the job growth climate.

“This has been a theme we have heard too often. It is time to point out the fallacy of the incompatible arguments. It is a completely contradictory position to argue both against business tax relief and complain about New Jersey’s job growth rate.”

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Rible-Kean Introduce Bill Protecting Towns From Affordable Housing Lawsuits

Legislation establishes defense for towns to provide in court

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblymen Dave Rible and Sean Kean, both R-Monmouth and Ocean, recently introduced legislation that gives municipalities protection from lawsuits that could force them to build hundreds of units of affordable housing.

Dave Rible

“The bill provides a defense for municipalities who are facing lawsuits brought by builders claiming they are not fulfilling their affordable housing obligation,” Rible said. “Municipalities, such as Wall Township, have spent time and money carefully planning their growth and should have the ability to decide what type of building occurs in their community.”

The legislation, A-4447, establishes an affirmative defense to exclusionary zoning litigation seeking a builder’s remedy. There are several defenses a municipality can provide should they be faced with a builder’s remedy lawsuit.

Sean Kean

“This bill is necessary to safeguard municipalities and taxpayers from costly lawsuits,” stated Kean. “The threat of these lawsuits could force towns to build numerous units because developers view them as an opportunity to make money and will lead to sprawl and overcrowding.”

Under the bill, a municipality may show that at least 20 percent of existing households in the town meet the latest definition of low or moderate income; the average market rate for residences on sale in the town is $240,000 or less; or at least 7.5 percent of the municipality’s total present housing stock is price-restricted units.

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