Category: Press Release

Dancer bill, signed by Governor Christie, makes money available to preserve farms, open space

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer to preserve green acres and control sprawl in the nation’s most densely populated state was signed by Governor Christie. The bill (S2456/A4017) ensures a percentage of the corporate business tax, as committed by public referendum in 2014, will be used to preserve farmland and open space.

Ron Dancer

“This bill implements the will of the people who voted to defend the character and environment of the Garden State,” said Dancer (R–Ocean). “Investing in preserved farms, ensuring their survival for generations to come and conserving the agrarian history of our state is good practice that will pay dividends.”

Under the bill, the constitutionally dedicated 4 percent of the tax will be allocated to acquiring land for recreation and conservation (60 percent); for farmland preservation (31 percent); for historic preservation (5 percent); and to fund “Blue Acres” programs (4 percent) for the purchase of properties prone to flooding.

“This is continuing the good work of the Green Acres and preservation programs that are keeping New Jersey’s character and charisma,” Dancer said. “Saving open space and farms for future generations is a priority.”

The bill passed both the Assembly and Senate on Monday, and was signed into law by the governor on Thursday night, along with the budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

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O’Scanlon statement on Gov. Christie’s signing of the FY 2017 budget

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R—Monmouth), the Republican budget officer, issued the following after Gov. Christie signed the fiscal year 2017 budget:

Declan O'Scanlon

“Although the Democrats’ budget is significantly improved over the last couple years, there were some glaring shortcomings in their spending plan. In fact, the Democrats relied heavily on some budget tactics that they have been quick to criticize in Governor Christie’s budgets.

“They relied on overly optimistic revenue projections, underfunding the end-of-year surplus, and savings on health benefit cuts that may not happen. The Democrats have attacked the governor repeatedly for the ‘three major sins,’ yet they made them critical fixtures in their irresponsible budget plan.

“As he has done in the past, the governor identified the shortcomings of the budget, and used his red pen to craft a more realistic, affordable budget that provides critical services and funding without relying on flawed calculations or rose-colored glasses.”

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Webber: Trenton produces “Wimpy” gas tax hike

Press Release – New Jersey awoke Tuesday morning to news that Trenton’s taxers had moved a massive midnight gas tax hike through the General Assembly. The next day, taxpayers continue to express their opposition to the proposed deal. In response, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) stated:

“Trenton’s backrooms are pushing another Wimpy ‘deal,’ gladly giving us tax relief on a proverbial Tuesday in the future for a huge gas tax hike today.

Jay Webber

“The gas tax hike passed Tuesday would impose a front-loaded, immediate, and permanent 160 percent gas tax increase on New Jersey’s overtaxed residents in exchange for a phased-in one penny sales tax reduction that stands on shaky ground.”

There’s a net $850 million tax increase for this year and a guaranteed $4.8 billion more in tax hikes following close behind.

The so-called ‘deal’ doesn’t offer taxpayers their money back on this tax increase until five years from now, if it ever comes back at all.

“We know from experience the history of Wimpy tax ‘deals’ in New Jersey with tax increases today for promises of later relief that never arrives,” continued Webber.

“For years the tax-raisers have increased the income tax and sales tax multiple times on the promise of providing property tax relief that never comes. Just weeks ago, Democrats in the Legislature signaled that they had no intention of following through with the tax cuts they were dangling as part of their gas tax bait-and-switch. What makes us think they’ll change their tune after the Christie administration is over, and the Democrats have their tax increase safely in hand?”

The Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) challenge in New Jersey is real and needs to be addressed. But no ‘fix’ for the TTF should exacerbate our state’s biggest problem: New Jersey’s nation-leading tax burden.

“There is time to craft an alternative proposal that protects our taxpayers, finds cost-savings and efficiencies for the nation’s most expensive roads, and allows adequate funding for the TTF, said Webber. “I urge Governor Christie and my fellow legislators to scrap this raw deal for taxpayers and get to work on solutions New Jerseyans deserve and can afford.”

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Muñoz cites first broad-based tax cut in twenty years

Nancy Munoz

Press Release – Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz voiced her support today for a sales tax cut and transportation funding plan that will create thousands of jobs and boost the state’s economy.

“When fully implemented, this plan will return $1.4 billion to over 9 million New Jerseyans with the first broad-based tax cut in over twenty years,” said Munoz. “That additional money will be put back in the pocket of every resident in the state.”

The cut in the sales tax mostly erases a hike approved a decade ago by Gov. Jon Corzine and the Democratic controlled Legislature to end a state government shutdown. The rate would return to 6 percent, as it had been from 1992 to 2006, after Republicans rolled back the Florio sales tax increase in 1990.

“At the same time, it will responsibly dedicate revenue to improve our roads and bridges, and mass transit that will create jobs and help grow our economy,” concluded Muñoz.

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DeCroce outlines benefits of sales tax cut in TTF deal

Assembly Republican Press Release -

BettyLou DeCroce

BettyLou DeCroce

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce voiced support Monday for a sales tax cut and transportation funding plan to create thousands of jobs and boost the state’s economy.

“This is the largest broad-based tax cut in over twenty years,” said DeCroce (R-Morris) citing the enactment of a 30 percent income tax cut on July 4, 1995.

“Now the responsible thing to do is to fund the Transportation Trust Fund and put a padlock on it so that legislators and future administrations cannot use these funds for any purpose except the necessary repair and maintenance of our roads and bridges,” continued the Assemblywoman.

DeCroce stated that she has always strived to be fair and work in a bi-partisan way to benefit New Jersey residents. She pointed to President Ronald Reagan, who also supported infrastructure.

“Ronald Reagan stood for the traditional conservative values of the small community,” continued DeCroce. “One of those values is paying your own way. Like most good conservatives of that period, Ronald Reagan supported user taxes over broader tax schemes.”

President Reagan proposed a five-year, $32.9 billion program paid mainly with an increase in the federal gasoline tax. The program repaired the nation’s highways and bridges, and assisted mass transit projects.

In a radio address in 1982 Reagan said: “Good tax policy decrees that wherever possible a fee for a service should be assessed against those who directly benefit from that service. Our highways were built largely with such a user fee – the gasoline tax. I think it makes sense to follow that principle in restoring them to the condition we all want them to be in.”

DeCroce said that she would rather not raise the gasoline tax, but that no plausible alternatives had been advanced to address the state’s transportation needs. However, DeCroce said she will continue to support cutting costs.

“There needs to be an overhaul of the permitting and inspection process that would streamline the construction of necessary infrastructure projects in the state,” explained DeCroce. “As an example, I believe that we can reduce costs in a responsible way through working with county engineers to continue project oversight and inspections. I hope my colleagues will work with me to bring about greater reform when spending the taxpayers’ money.”

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Assembly approves Dancer/Bramnick bill allowing wagers at annual Far Hills Steeplechase races

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The General Assembly has approved a bill sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Jon Bramnick authorizing pari-mutuel wagering on horse races at the Far Hills Race Meeting. Under the bill (A1697), the New Jersey Racing Commission is authorized to grant one special two-day permit each year to allow wagering on steeplechase races.

Bramnick, the Assembly’s Republican leader, represents the district that includes Moorland Farm in Far Hills, the site of the meeting.

Ron Dancer

“We are taking this great New Jersey tradition and making it even better,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “This legislation will increase the profile of New Jersey’s diverse horse racing industry and steeplechase racing to a broader national audience.”

The 96th running of the Far Hills races is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15. The seven-race program is highlighted by the Grand National, America’s richest steeplechase race with a $350,000 purse. Each year the one-day festival attracts more than 35,000 spectators, with proceeds benefiting Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerset and health care in the region.

Jon Bramnick

“Adding wagering to this prestigious event will help provide more money for the fight against cancer,” said Bramnick (R—Somerset). “The Far Hills Race Meeting has a long tradition of supporting the highest quality of healthcare for people in Central New Jersey.”

The Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson is named in honor of the Far Hills races, which have raised more than $17 million for the medical center.

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Webber voices opposition to gas tax hike

Jay Webber

Press Release – Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) released the following statement after the General Assembly voted to increase New Jersey’s gas tax:

“Tonight, all the Trenton insiders did was pave New Jersey’s road to higher taxes. This State Street ‘deal’ is an instant $850 million tax hike on overtaxed Main Street New Jerseyans, with as much as $4.8 billion more in tax hikes coming in the next few years. And it doesn’t offer taxpayers their money back until five years from now, if it ever comes back at all.

“We have a serious problem and have to fix the Transportation Trust Fund. But New Jersey’s biggest problem is our crushing tax burden, and any ‘deal’, like this one, that makes the tax burden worse, is just a raw deal for New Jersey.”

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After Assembly approval, Kean and Auth bill protecting school students moves to Governor’s desk

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The General Assembly today approved legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Sean Kean and Robert Auth to ensure safe and secure school environments for non-public schools. The Secure Schools for All Children Act (A2689) requires the state to fund security measures to protect all students.

Sean Kean

“Schools are taking action to provide protection and peace of mind for staff and students, and this legislation will help fund necessary precautions, equipment and technology,” said Kean (R—Monmouth). “The state has a responsibility to defend all schools and safeguard our children.”

The bill passed the Assembly unanimously in April, but today’s vote was required after amendments by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“The safety of students and staff members must be a priority,” said Auth (R—Bergen). “Non-public schools face their own economic challenges, but it is unacceptable to allow money to prevent the implementation of necessary steps to secure schools.”

The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.

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Assembly approves DiMaio bill creating task force to fight flooding

John DiMaio

Press Release – Assemblyman John DiMaio’s bill to prevent flooding of the Delaware and Raritan River basins was approved today by the General Assembly. The legislation (S166/A3901) establishes the Hunterdon-Somerset Flood Advisory Task Force to bolster flood mitigation efforts.

“Flooding has become an all-too-common occurrence in Hunterdon and Somerset, and residents who have been effected repeatedly are desperate for help,” said DiMaio (R—Hunterdon). “Other similar flood advisory boards have proven to be beneficial. This task force will review emergency plans, assess conditions leading to flooding, and identify ways to minimize damage in future floods.”

The Delaware River has flooded eight times in 20 years. Floods in 2004, 2005 and 2006 were the worst since the historic flood of 1955.

The Raritan and tributaries have over-flowed 24 times since 2000, and 116 times since 1923. The river was six feet above regular flooding levels, most recently, on May 1, 2014.

“We can’t expect to rebuild homes and neighborhoods every couple years. It isn’t realistic, and it isn’t fair,” said DiMaio. “By bringing the experts together on the task force, we have a realistic opportunity to control the waters and reduce stress on families in flood-prone areas.”

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Assembly advances Bramnick resolution recognizing the National Park Services’ centennial anniversary

Press Release – The General Assembly today approved a resolution (AJR-101) sponsored by Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick that recognizes the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which occurs on August 25.

Jon Bramnick

“The National Park Service does a tremendous job of protecting our nation’s beautiful natural resources,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “New Jersey’s scenic historical parks, recreation areas and trails attract millions of visitors from around the country and the world each year. The tourism generated by these sites provides significant benefits to our economy. On this centennial anniversary, I encourage our residents to celebrate this milestone by visiting one of these natural wonders.”

The National Park System comprises 410 units covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, including monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

In New Jersey, the National Park Service oversees three national historical parks, two national recreation areas, two national trails, a national monument –Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, five wild and scenic rivers, a national heritage area – Crossroads of the American Revolution, and the nation’s only national reserve – the New Jersey Pinelands.

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