Tag: Jon Bramnick

Bramnick calls for law enforcement to focus on texting and driving offenses

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick called on law enforcement today to focus on texting and driving.

“Texting and driving is reaching epidemic levels and is a major cause of accidents,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “I call on law enforcement to focus on this offense to better protect the public.”

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Bramnick, Rodriguez-Gregg: On the lighter side

Source: Excerpted from NJ 101.5 -

It’s tempting to view New Jersey’s Legislature as 120 no-nonsense, hard-nosed lawyers and consultants.

But if you take a closer look at the roster, you may be surprised at what you find.

Sure, there are dozens of attorneys, and a few occupations we couldn’t even begin to explain, but select legislators have some unique side jobs and hobbies that could make you rethink the word “politician.”

Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (District 8 Republican)

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg has been a derby girl for more than half a decade, currently on the roster of two travel teams.

“It’s very physical. Like any sport, injuries can happen,” she said.

And she would know. Early last year, Rodriguez-Gregg had a full ACL tear, among other complications, in her left knee. Following surgery, she returned to the track a little too soon and quickly suffered a torn meniscus in her other knee.

“I had meniscus repair back in February, and I just started skating again a few weeks ago,” she said.

Rodriguez-Gregg said roller derby gives her a chance to “completely de-stress.” She finds the time for games, and a couple practices per week, on top of her position as a legislator and as the director of relationship management for Home Towne Rx Pharmacy.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (District 21 Republican)

Jon Bramnick

He may be a lawyer, but he also holds the title of “Funniest Lawyer in New Jersey.”

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick has performed stand-up comedy for the past 25 years. And he’s still writing new material.

Bramnick, the Assembly Minority Leader for New Jersey, recently entertained in Ohio during the four-day Republican National Convention.

According to Bramnick, his sense of humor has helped him “big time” in politics, from forming relationships to navigating heavy negotiations.

“In politics, No. 1, they have to like you, and I think comedy is a very useful tool in getting people to like you,” he said. “The hard part is lowering taxes in New Jersey. The easier part is being funny.”

Bramnick refuses to take money for his stand-up appearances, unless it goes to an organization or charity.

In the video below, Bramnick takes on some of his “favorite” road signs in New Jersey.

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Death penalty needs to be an option after Dallas police killings, says Bramnick

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

The Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick called today for the reinstatement of the death penalty that was repealed in 2007.

“The death penalty should be an option for predators that shoot and kill a police officer,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “Those in law enforcement are protecting and serving the public, risking their lives each day. We must make every effort to ensure those who are responsible for taking their life face the appropriate and most severe penalty under the law.”

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Could Dems force gas tax hike without Christie? ‘Absolutely not,’ Bramnick says

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Three and a half weeks ago, when New Jersey lawmakers could not agree on a proposal to fund the Transportation Trust Fund with a gas tax increase, Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order that froze hundreds of road and bridge projects.

It’s now the end of July, the TTF will run out of money in about a week and a half, hundreds of road workers are still laid off, and there is still no agreement in sight.

Another version of the plan was put forth by New Jersey Democrats in the Senate and Assembly five days ago, but Christie declared the plan “dead on arrival” because it calls for a 23-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike but, he says, not enough other tax cuts to balance things out.

Christie had previously endorsed a plan to hike the gas tax but lower the state sales tax — one that got him into a heated debate with New Jersey 101.5’s Bill Spadea.

But Senate and Assembly Democrats have been hoping they’ll have enough Republican support to override a Christie veto — after all, plenty of Republicans backed the version that traded the gas tax for the sales tax break and other cuts.

The legislature has never before overridden one of Christie’s vetoes.

So what happens now?

Jon Bramnick

Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), the Assembly Republican leader, is sitting in his office, tapping his fingers on his desk, waiting for a call from Democratic leaders.

“What they’ve put forth is a plan with absolutely no input from the Assembly Republican leadership, and the governor rejected it, so let’s get to the table and work on something that has more tax reductions,” he said.

He stressed: “There’s two sides to this ledger, myself on behalf of the Republicans, and the governor have said if you want to raise a tax, the Republicans in both houses want to make sure you lower some taxes, and this plan doesn’t have enough on the lowering the taxes side of the ledger.

“I’m a big fan of reducing taxes, so if you ‘re going to have a plan, do a plan where we’re all sitting at the table and have some compromise.”

When asked what he’s looking for in terms of tax reductions, Bramnick said he’d be willing to consider all sorts of ideas.

“When you’re talking about negotiations and we’re talking about compromise, obviously nothing is written in stone except we need tax fairness,” he said. “We know that if you’re going to raise a billion dollars in taxes we need to find a lot of taxes to reduce.”

When pressed for specifics, he said “I don’t really want to negotiate in public — unless we do it on 101.5. Have all four leaders there and the governor, and you may want to have a program like that.”

When Bramnick was asked if Democrats could convince enough Republican lawmakers to vote to override a Christie veto of the current Democratic plan put forth, he said “absolutely not.”


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Bramnick on gas tax hike: ‘We need compromise that includes a broad-based tax reduction’

Source: NJ 101.5 -

Gov. Chris Christie said the Democrats’ latest plan for replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund is “dead on arrival,” deeming the package of tax cuts as insufficiently fair to green-light a 23-cent per gallon hike in the gas tax.

That’s not surprising, given that Christie has demanded a broad-based tax cut, such as the sales tax reduction the Assembly passed in late June that stalled in the Senate.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto are hoping to pass the bill with the two-thirds majority that would be needed to overcome a Christie veto. But that would require Republican votes, and the Assembly GOP’s leader, Jon Bramnick, said Monday evening that the support isn’t there.

Jon Bramnick

“There are not enough votes to pass the Prieto-Sweeney bill,” said Bramnick, R-Union. “We need compromise that includes a broad-based tax reduction for all New Jerseyans.”

Months of behind-the-scenes had led to a proposal in June for targeted tax cuts benefiting estates, retirement income, charitable donations and the working poor, in exchange for the first hike in the gas tax since 1988.

A Senate committee advanced that plan, but Christie and Prieto then struck a surprise deal to instead cut the sales tax from 7 percent to 6 percent. That plan would have cost around twice as much in projected revenue to the state once fully implemented — $2 billion a year, as opposed to $1.1 billion. Sweeney and other senators balked.

When the state entered the new fiscal year without a way to pay for road, bridge and rail projects, the state shut down state-funded projects, prompting layoffs that could grow in numbers as the stalemate drags on.

Sweeney offered a compromise to Christie that the governor rejected. Christie made a counteroffer last week that the Democratic legislative leaders found unacceptable, so the lawmakers opted for a new approach — a modified version of their original plan, scrapping the charitable deduction tax break, adding breaks for veterans and commuters and speeding up the phase out of the estate tax.

Christie said he reviewed the latest plan over the weekend and can’t support it.

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Friday to consider the revised plan. It could then get a vote in the full Senate on Monday, Aug. 1.
The Assembly has not yet scheduled a date to consider the bill.

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Bramnick can’t support TTF deal without broad-based tax relief

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick commented today on the Democratic leaders’ new deal to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund without a sales tax cut.

“There are not enough votes to pass the Prieto-Sweeney bill,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “We need compromise that includes a broad-based tax reduction for all New Jerseyans.”

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Bramnick can’t support TTF gas tax agreement without broad-based tax relief

Source: Politico New Jersey -

The state Legislature appears yet again to be headed toward a collision with Gov. Chris Christie after the Democratic leaders cut a new deal on Friday to raise the state’s gasoline tax and replenish the Transportation Trust Fund, throwing out a sales cut the Republican chief executive had been seeking.

The agreement ends an odd, month-old alliance between Christie and Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both of whom supported the sales tax cut even as Senate Democrats balked at the idea, calling it too expensive.

Jon Bramnick


“The Senate president and speaker never discussed this plan with me,” Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said. “The fact that it doesn’t include Republican input does not make any sense to me.”


Before Christie swept in at the last minute in June and reached the agreement with Prieto for a one-penny reduction in the sales tax and a 23-cent hike in the gas tax, both houses were preparing to move legislation that Christie was expected to veto. Democrats — and, privately, even some Republicans — said it was going to be the first time the Legislature successfully voted to override the powerful governor.

But the discussion ended with the Prieto-Christie alliance. The speaker has repeatedly said since then that Senate President Stephen Sweeney needed to work out his differences with Christie. That never happened.

With the Democrats united again, they say Christie needs to play ball.

Several people in the governor’s press office did not respond to a message seeking comment on the new proposal, which makes several changes to the earlier legislation that was supported by both houses in June.

The governor had already said that plan didn’t include enough tax cuts to meet his definition of “tax fairness” — an undefined threshold that, he said, must be reached before he’ll agree to new taxes. This latest plan includes $897 million in tax cuts, but the legislation Christie had been supporting included about $1.7 billion in cuts.

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said on Friday he was not consulted before the Democratic leaders announced their new agreement. He said he was aware the Senate had planned to put a plan forward, but did not know Prieto was involved.

Bramnick said there is no way he would support it without broad-based tax relief.

“The Senate president and speaker never discussed this plan with me,” he said. “The fact that it doesn’t include Republican input does not make any sense to me.”

The new plan includes a new income tax deduction of up to $500 for all taxes paid on gas, available to those making less than $100,000 annually, and a $3,000 personal income tax exemption for veterans. It also includes some cuts that were included in the earlier legislation: A phase out the estate tax in 3 1/2 years; new exemptions on retirement income as high $100,000 and partial exemptions up to $150,000; and an increase in the earned income tax credit from 30 percent of the federal level to 40 percent.

Bramnick said he still likes the idea of a sales tax cut, and said it is “the only plan that not only has Republican votes but has the blessing of the governor.”

When asked if he could support this plan with amendments, he said, “I’m not going to get into the actual negotiations. I am willing to have further talks as well as we have broad, across the board, tax cuts.”

He added, “I think we need a lot more discussion — bipartisan discussion.”

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Christie Talks up Bramnick’s Leadership Skills at RNC

Source: PoliticerNJ -

Jon Bramnick

At a breakfast meeting of the GOP delegation to the Republican National Convention, Gov. Chris Christie “threw a bouquet,” in the words of NJTV Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron, to Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21).

“There is no more effective leader in our party than Jon Bramnick,” said Christie, pointing at the minority leader in the crowd, while Acting Governor Kim Guadagno pulled back home duty.

Guadagno has shown every indication that she means to succeed Christie as governor.

For Michael Aron’s full report, including the clip of Christie giving Bramnick a shout-out, click here.

To see the comedy routine Bramnick performed in Cleveland, click here.

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Bramnick praises largest month of single private sector job creation since 1996

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said today’s announcement by the state Department of Labor that New Jersey gained 22,200 jobs in June – the best month for private sector job growth in 20 years – is great news for the people who live and work in the state.

“The business community realizes that Governor Christie still has their back and his policies continue to prove it,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “After fully recovering all the jobs lost during the recession earlier this year, this is a strong and encouraging trend.”

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Jon Bramnick’s guide to surviving Cleveland

Source: Politico New Jersey -

Jon Bramnick

New Jersey Republican delegates, used to the gruff ways of their fellow Garden State residents, needed a lesson in mid-western etiquette during their stay in Ohio, and Assembly minority leader Jon Bramnick was on hand to give them one.

“If a Clevelander says hello to you, say hello back,” Bramnick told about 75 people gathered in a steak house on the outskirts of Cleveland.

Bramnick — who once won a contest to be named the “Funniest Lawyer in New Jersey” — showed off nearly half an hour of his comedy material to New Jersey Republicans on Tuesday afternoon, before the night’s session at the Quicken Loans Arena.

The routine included what Bramnick said was a manual for the New Jersey delegation from the Republican State Committee on “what they should expect and do in Cleveland.”

“When in a restaurant, do not ask ‘where is my food.’ There is a midwest 8-10 minute delay on everything,” said Bramnick, who does some stand-up in his spare time.

“Speak slowly and enunciate, especially if you’re from Hudson or Bergen County,” Bramnick said.

The assemblyman and potential 2017 gubernatorial candidate took shots at everything from himself to his family to fellow Republicans and the quality of pizza in Cleveland.

“Under no circumstances do you eat or order pizza. Just wait until Friday when you get back to New Jersey,” he said.

Bramnick also said Bill Palatucci, Gov. Chris Christie’s friend and adviser, is such a prolific fundraiser because he has few expenses.

“A Palatucci breakfast is a half a muffin per person, and you pay for coffee,” he said.

The material was mostly clean, although Bramnick did get blue for an instant.

“I send texts out, and sometimes I misspell my last name, but I’m too lazy to change it,” Bramnick said. “Last week a guy comes up to me and says ‘I’ve known you for 30 years. I had no idea that you’re Jon Browndick.’”

He’ll be here all week.

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