Tag: Jay Webber

70 N.J. Assembly members ‘present’ in an empty chamber? Webber says ‘that’s wrong,’ has a solution

Source: The Star-Ledger -

Assemblyman Jay Webber wants to let his colleagues phone it in — literally.

Here’s why:

On a Friday evening in July, just one Assembly member – Reid Gusciora (D-Mercer) — was in the chamber. But 70 members were recorded as present by staffers who walked around the room and pushed the buttons on their desks. The so-called quorum was constitutionally mandated to start the clock ticking on a mandatory 20-day waiting period for a proposed constitutional amendment to allow judges to deny bail to some defendants.

Jay Webber

“I had several constituents who called and emailed me and said it’s not right, and quite frankly I agree with them,” Webber (R-Morris) told The Auditor, who added that he understands that such maneuvers have been done before and he’s “not blaming anybody.”

But he wants to do something to change it. Under a resolution Webber introduced on Monday, Assembly rules would no longer require members to actually be in the Statehouse to ring in for a quorum on non-voting days. Instead, they could check in by phone, video or any another type of electronic communication device.

That would enable them to conduct “routine business” such as introducing bills and resolutions, and lay proposed constitutional amendments on members’ desks for 20 days as the constitution requires, without actually going to the Statehouse. But they would still need to give their consent to be recorded, and they’d have to actually show up to begin voting sessions.

To establish a quorum, 41 members must be present.

“When you have a citizen Legislature and need to do routine things like introduce bills so committees can hear them and debate them, it just seems like an anachronism to bring everybody down there and have a quorum,” Webber said. “Let’s all just consent, either in person or by telephone, and they can go about their routine business.”

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), who will decide whether or not to put up Webber’s proposal for a vote, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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Webber Study of State’s Probation Programs Wins Committee Approval

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jay Webber

Measuring the success and failure of rehabilitating people on probation is the main focus of a bill (A-2417) Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors that won approval from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee today. Assemblyman Webber’s bill requires the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish a program to record and analyze recidivism rates for adults sentenced to a period of probation.

“Breaking the cycle of those on probation from committing another offense and reentering the correctional system has to be a priority in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “We should measure the effectiveness of the state’s training and reentry programs to understand what we do well, and what we need to do better.

“Recidivism data is not studied on a regular basis, and the records required by this bill will no doubt give us critical insights on our entire system,” explained Assemblyman Webber. “The goal is to have a first-rate correctional system that spends money wisely and helps certain individuals who have made poor choices lead productive lives and contribute to society instead of sitting in prison.”

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Webber: It Doesn’t Have to be This Way [video]

Source: Assembly Republican Video -

Jay Webber

Assemblyman Jay Webber speaks at an Americans for Prosperity event calling for the elimination of New Jersey’s death taxes.

New Jersey is only one of two states in the nation with both an estate tax and an inheritance tax. Tens of billions of dollars in income has been lost to low or no tax states as residents in the past have fled NJ’s death taxes.

Assemblyman Jay Webber: “Thank you Americans for Prosperity, for bringing us together on a bipartisan basis really, to talk about an issue that’s so important not just to people here in Trenton trying to balance the books but to people back home at their kitchen tables – trying to balance their budgets and make plans for the future. For all those folks, that’s why we’re here.

“I just wanted to mention a couple of things. When I’m legislating I like to look at other states and see what other states are doing. There are only two states in the nation, that tax both estates and inheritance and that is New Jersey and Maryland. And, as a matter of fact, Maryland is moving to increase its exemption on the estate tax. They are trying to get ahead of us – leave us in the dust.”

“The Wall Street Journal had a quip a couple of years and said, ‘here is some free estate planning advice: don’t die in New Jersey anytime soon.’ You can see, unfortunately we are leading the race to the bottom on this issue and it doesn’t have to be that way.

The trend across the country is to eliminate the estate tax. Four states in the last four years have taken measure to eliminate their estate tax. Everywhere from Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, to North Carolina, legislatures across the country realize that when you punish people for dying in their state you drive people out of the state. It’s not rocket science. If you are going to punish the successful, they will leave. They will go someplace where they are welcomed.

“For too long, New Jersey has punished the successful. We have turned that around. I am happy to say, we have both Democrats and Republicans in this legislature that are interested in making this state a more family friendly, more business friendly place. The coalition of legislators up here all supports that. And, I’m proud to associate myself with those efforts. So, thank you very much for all my colleagues for joining us.”

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Webber Pleased NJTEAM Act Cleared by Key Senate Panel

Source: PolitickerNJ -

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee blew through a host of bills during its hearing in the Statehouse today.

Among the docket of bills, which included legislation aimed at raising awareness for Parkinson’s Disease (S1173) and a “Reader Privacy Act” (S967) that would extend reader privacy protections to book purchases, including the purchase of electronic books, was the New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act (S3114), a bill which would allow military veterans who attend public colleges or universities in New Jersey to pay in-state tuition rates.

The bill’s release prompted a response from the sponsor of identical legislation in the Assembly.

Jay Webber

“Many of our returning service men and women are looking for opportunities to build a career once they leave the military,” said Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-27). “One of the avenues to pursue in that quest is continuing their education at a college or university in New Jersey. Offering in-state tuition at a public college to all American veterans can help them acquire the knowledge and skills today’s employers are seeking at a reasonable price.”

The NJTEAM Act amends current law to provide that a veteran, irrespective of where they live, will be regarded as a resident of the state for the purpose of determining tuition.

“These patriots answered the call to serve our country and helping them obtain a degree gives them a better chance at obtaining a job,” said Webber. “We want these men and women to come home to New Jersey, and express our gratitude to those who have contributed to our country’s security and have asked nothing in return.”

The senate committee released the bill with 11 votes in favor.

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Webber Pleased with Senate Committee Release of “NJTEAM Act”

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation (S-849) that allows a military veteran who attends a public college or university in New Jersey to pay an in-state tuition rate was released by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today. Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors the identical Assembly version (A-2622) which received approval by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is under consideration in the Appropriations Committee.

Jay Webber

“Many of our returning service men and women are looking for opportunities to build a career once they leave the military,” said Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “One of the avenues to pursue in that quest is continuing their education at a college or university in New Jersey. Offering in-state tuition at a public college to all American veterans can help them acquire the knowledge and skills today’s employers are seeking at a reasonable price.”

Webber’s bill, known as the “New Jersey Tuition Equality for America’s Military (NJTEAM) Act,” amends current law and provides that a veteran will be regarded as a resident of the state for the purpose of determining tuition, regardless of where they live.

“These patriots answered the call to serve our country and helping them obtain a degree gives them a better chance at obtaining a job,” commented Webber. “We want these men and women to come home to New Jersey, and express our gratitude to those who have contributed to our country’s security and have asked nothing in return.”

Currently, Richard Stockton College and Rowan University offer in-state tuition to all veterans.

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Webber applauds passage of A-3155, protecting unemployment insurance from fraud

Source: PolitickerNJ -

Legislation Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) sponsored to protect the state’s unemployment insurance system today won approval by the Assembly Labor Committee. The bill, A-3155, co-sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14), implements a recommendation by the state auditor that the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) review the procedures used to grant access to unemployment insurance data by personnel in the department.

Jay Webber

“Eliminating costly mistakes, whether intentional or not, is the purpose of this common sense, anti-fraud legislation,” said Webber. “Under the bill, the department will examine its own protocols that grant access to the sensitive data it maintains. The state auditor’s recommendations are sound and practical and were positively received by DOLWD. Monitoring who should have access to this personal data further ensures taxpayers, businesses and recipients are treated fairly and the UI fund is protected.”

Webber’s bill requires periodic reviews of the appropriateness of employees’ access to data which reduces the risk of errors, misuse or unauthorized alteration of information.

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Webber Bill Updating Access Standards to UI Data Protects Taxpayers and System

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation Assemblyman Jay Webber sponsors to protect the state’s unemployment insurance system today won approval by the Assembly Labor Committee. The bill, A-3155, implements a recommendation by the state auditor that the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) review the procedures used to grant access to unemployment insurance data by personnel in the department.

Jay Webber

“Eliminating costly mistakes, whether intentional or not, is the purpose of this common sense, anti-fraud legislation,” said Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “Under the bill, the department will examine its own protocols that grant access to the sensitive data it maintains. The state auditor’s recommendations are sound and practical and were positively received by DOLWD. Monitoring who should have access to this personal data further ensures taxpayers, businesses and recipients are treated fairly and the UI fund is protected.”

Webber’s bill requires periodic reviews of the appropriateness of employees’ access to data which reduces the risk of errors, misuse or unauthorized alteration of information.

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Webber: Constitutional amendment is the wrong way to fund open space

Source: The Star-Ledger -

Voters will decide in November whether New Jersey’s nearly broke program to preserve open space — for years paid for by borrowing — should get a more stable source of funding.

The state Assembly voted 58-9 with one abstention to put the question (SCR84) on the ballot. The state Senate had passed the measure in June.

Jay Webber

“I didn’t think we should constitutionalize our open space spending for the next several decades,” [Assemblyman Jay] Webber said. “Open space is an important priority, but it’s one among a number of important priorities. And when you lock something like that in, you’re making it hard to make sure that you are funding your priorities in the future.”

If approved by voters, the amendment would require that the 4 percent of the Corporation Business Tax currently dedicated to environmental programs be used mostly to fund open space programs. It would then increase the share to 6 percent of the corporation business tax after five years.

There was no debate on the Assembly floor.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), the resolution’s sponsor, said if approved, the measure would generate about $70 million a year for open space in the first five years, and $117 million annually after that.

The Assembly vote was a victory that McKeon and environmental groups who backed the legislation weren’t expecting until late last week. The deadline to get it on the ballot this year was today, and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) had not originally planned to put it up for a vote.

All of the votes against the measure came from Republicans, though more supported it than opposed it.

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris), who voted against the amendment, said open space is a worthy cause but he didn’t think amending the constitution was the way to go about funding it.

“I didn’t think we should constitutionalize our open space spending for the next several decades,” Webber said. “Open space is an important priority, but it’s one among a number of important priorities. And when you lock something like that in, you’re making it hard to make sure that you are funding your priorities in the future.”

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Webber Bill Prohibiting Payment by Victims for Obtaining Records on Crime Signed by Gov.

Assembly Republican Press Release

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic, that prohibits a government agency from charging the victim of a crime for copies of reports relating to the offense was signed into law today by Gov. Christie.

 

Jay Webber

“It is fair and reasonable that someone who is victimized by a criminal act should not be required to pay for documents related to the alleged crime,” said Webber. “Victims have legitimate reasons to obtain copies of police reports or other legal documents. This legislation rightly removes a financial burden that an injured party should not have to consider in order to access relevant information to their case.”

Under the bill, A-1676, a victim would not be charged for any law enforcement agency report, domestic violence offense report, or temporary or permanent restraining order. Currently, the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) does not contain an exemption from fees for victims of crime.

Webber’s bill is also sponsored by Assembly Republicans Jon Bramnick, Nancy Muñoz, Anthony M. Bucco and Caroline Casagrande, and Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson and Carmelo Garcia.

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Republicans Stand Strong Against Massive Tax Increases

Source: Assembly Republican Video -

When Democrats proposed the most expensive budget in state history with massive new taxes, Assembly Republicans stood against them.

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