Tag: Jon Bramnick

Bramnick Praises Attorney General Hoffman

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick issued the following statement on the departure of acting Attorney General John Hoffman:

Jon Bramnick

“Attorney General Hoffman’s integrity, honesty and sincerity is well known in the legal community and throughout New Jersey. As the chief law enforcement official in our state, he is known as a man of principle and courage. We were very fortunate to have a man with his experience and background serve in government.

“We all thank John Hoffman for his service.”

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Legislative Leaders talk about TTF

Bergen Record -

New Jersey’s Democratic legislative leaders said Wednesday they are close to working out a proposal to fix the state’s dwindling Transportation Trust Fund.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus, each said they just have a few details to work out on a proposal to replenish the fund – which pays for improvements to the state’s roads and bridges – runs out of money by June 30. Neither offered details of their plan.

But the two Democrats sparred with their Republican counterparts before an audience of several dozen mayors over the timing of such legislation.

Sweeney and Prieto said first they want to hash out a deal with Governor Christie – something they said has not yet happened – rather that pass a measure that he will veto.

Jon Bramnick

But Assembly Minority Jon Bramnick, R-Union, noting Democrats control both the Assembly and the Senate, said they should “just pass the bill.”

“They can put the Sweeney-Prieto proposal…on the governor’s desk and see what he doesn’t like.”

While some Democrats have called for raising the gasoline tax to resupply the fund, others are leery of what Prieto has described as “jumping off the cliff” of a controversial tax hike without working out some consensus between the two parties.

Sweeney said he and Prieto still have a few items in the bill they need to “tweak.”

Prieto said he wants to make sure that any deal is long term and requires substantial pay-as-you-go funding rather than rely mostly on borrowed money.

But Prieto added after the panel discussion that he does not want to “throw something against the wall and see if it sticks.”

“Why do you have to jump off the cliff together? Just pass the bill, Bramnick said. He predicted an agreement will be reached at the last minute.

“It’ll be a cliffhanger,” he quipped.

 

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Assembly Leader Bramnick: What the future holds for NJ [video]

Source: NJ 101.5 [video] -

Republican Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick joined NJ 101.5 to discuss what the future holds for the Garden State, as well as what the expectations are for Gov. Christie following New Hampshire.

You have a governor that has a 30 percent approval rating and the majority of the state upset with him because he has been out of the state campaigning. So what happens after New Hampshire? We have a state with a host of problems and over $200 million in debt.

Where do we start to turn things around? A good start would be to get the governor back in the state to help rectify some of these issues, make some dramatic changes and call these politicians out for the rest of what’s left of his term in office.

Jon Bramnick

While there is a lot of attention put on Governor Christie, there are things that can get done in the state. Assembly Leader Bramnick discussed how its starts with the majority party and Senate President

Bramnick stated “There are a lot of options but they’re painful options. You talked about pension reform. Theres already a bipartisan committee that says ‘hey here’s what we have to do for the future’ that’s never been presented to the legislature for a vote. School funding is fundamentally unfair. It’s run by a Supreme Court formula. You know unless the legislature takes on that 15 billion debt or responsibility, you really cant get to the problems about the state being unaffordable. So some of the focus has to get on the legislature and the majority party and say ‘what proposals are you going to vote on. What proposals are you going to pass to lower the cost of living in the state? That’s the question. And they’ve escaped some of the responsibility because of the focus on Chris Christie.”

Bramnick specifically mentioned two major issues that need addressing to fix the state problems including, the unfair school funding and the so-called 5-7 billion into pension payments.

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Bramnick: ‘It’s definitely not a coincidence’

Source: Excerpted from Politico New Jersey -

The New Jersey lawmaker who made the most laws during the last legislative session was not a legislative leader. He was not a power broker, nor someone known for deep political relationships.

The distinction belongs to Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, 29-year-old wounded Iraq War veteran from Cape May County who had barely served more than one term in the Assembly and who rarely spoke during chamber votes.

He was also one of the few Democrats whose seat was in real jeopardy in last November’s election.

Jon Bramnick

“It’s definitely not a coincidence,” Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick said. “I don’t believe [Democrats] would say it’s coincidence. That might be legitimate politics. It may not be the best policy, but it’s something I can understand — why you would do that, to make your member in a competitive district look like they’re a strong legislator.”

Democrats who control the lower house decide which bills get posted for a vote. An examination of which lawmakers had the most bills passed as well as the most signed shows Democrats in competitive races were often at or near the top of the list, while Republicans in competitive races generally were near the bottom.

Andrzejczak, who did not respond to a phone call seeking comment, was a prime sponsor of 64 bills that were signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. Seventy-four of his bills were sent to Christie — the fourth most. Most of the bills were not controversial. Many were on veterans’ issues.

The same pattern held for the legislative district just north of Andrzejczak’s.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, a freshman Democrat from Atlantic County who had the most competitive race in the state, had the seventh highest numbers of bills signed into law at 47 and the ninth highest number sent to the governor at 65.

Bramnick, the Assembly Republican leader, said he didn’t fault Democrats for making sure their most vulnerable members rack up legislative achievements. But he did take issue with another practice he said is too common.

“I’ve been in the situation where I’ve come up with the idea and I put the bill in, a Democrat changed a couple words and the posted the Democrats’ bill,” Bramnick said. “I’ve been told on occasion by a member on the other side that if you want your bill passed, I have to be the prime. This is what goes on in Trenton.”

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Bramnick says property taxes one of Legislature’s top priorities

Star Ledger -

Alarmed by a report that found more New Jersey residents are living in poverty now than over the last 50 years, state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said he would hold hearings next week to identify new ways lawmakers could address the problem.

Four Assembly committees will hold public hearings on Jan. 27 to discuss new anti-poverty strategies, Prieto (D-Hudson) announced at a press conference Wednesday.

The Assembly Human Services Committee, the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, the Assembly Transportation Committee and the Assembly Women and Children Committee will meet separately at times and locations to be announced soon, the sources said. Speakers will be invited but members of the public are invited to testify.

Jon Bramnick

Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said any discussion of the middle class must include an effort on lowering property taxes. He called on Prieto to add the Assembly State and Local Government Committee to the group of committee next week.

“Republicans look forward to joining that discussion, and we should also address high property taxes to help the middle class,” Bramnick said. “For too long middle-class homeowners have struggled living in this state. To get New Jersey’s property taxes under control we need to make this our top priority this session.”

Part of the discussion will examine the success of the many tax credit programs that were designed to keep companies here and expand, Prieto said. “We have to circle back and see how they are working. We need to make sure they are staying true to what they signed up for,” he added.

The speaker acknowledged some of the ideas that will emerge from the hearing will cost money, but necessarily all of them.

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Bramnick: “Property Tax Relief Should Also Be Assembly’s Focus”

Source: Wall Street Journal -

A top New Jersey lawmaker is calling for a major government push to combat poverty in the state.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Democrat, has instructed four committees to hold hearings next week to assess the effectiveness of existing programs and to see if additional steps need to be taken to address poverty.

An estimated 2.8 million New Jersey residents—just under a third of the state’s population—earn less than the amount required to make ends meet, according to a November report by the Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute, a nonprofit.

Lawmakers are slated to meet next Wednesday to discuss poverty as it relates to the state’s existing assistance programs, transportation, affordable housing and the challenges facing single mothers and children, Mr. Prieto said.

Jon Bramnick

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, the chamber’s top Republican, said he isn’t opposed to holding hearings, but he said stimulating the economy and creating jobs is the most effective way to combat poverty.

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Bramnick pushes Legislature to make property tax relief a priority

Source: NJBiz -

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced Wednesday that Assembly committees will hold hearings next week to gather testimony on how best to develop legislation to help fight poverty across the state.

Prieto referenced a report by Legal Services of New Jersey, which estimates that in 2014, some 2.8 million adults and 800,000 children lived in poverty in New Jersey.

On Jan. 27, the Assembly Human Services, Housing and Community Development, Transportation and Women and Children committees will all meet to address issues related to poverty.

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) responded to Prieto’s announcement by adding that matters related to property tax relief should also be a legislative priority.

“Republicans look forward to joining that discussion, and we should also address high property taxes to help the middle class,” said Bramnick. “For too long, middle class homeowners have struggled living in this state. To get New Jersey’s property taxes under control, we need to make this our top priority this session.”

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Bramnick: “Property Tax Relief Should Also Be Assembly’s Focus”

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick said today the Assembly State and Local Government Committee should also be convened to consider property tax reform on Wednesday.

“Republicans look forward to joining that discussion, and we should also address high property taxes to help the middle class,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “For too long middle-class homeowners have struggled living in this state. To get New Jersey’s property taxes under control we need to make this our top priority this session.”

Today, Speaker Vinnie Prieto held a press conference announcing that the Human Services, Housing and Economic and Development, Women and Children, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees will meet on Jan. 27 to discuss anti-poverty legislation.

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Bramnick talks about issues in new legislative session

Star Ledger -

The state Legislature’s new session is less than a week old, but there are already 3,337 bills awaiting action — including a reprise of a gun control measure that came close to mustering enough votes to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto.

Both houses of the Legislature — each controlled by Democrats — will try again to enact a bill that includes police officers when a judge decides whether a person with a history of an involuntary psychiatric commitment may expunge that medical history in order to obtain a gun permit.

Christie conditionally vetoed the bill that had won bi-partisan support, and suggested a new version that called for broader changes to the mental health system.

The state Senate, accusing him of posturing to conservatives as he runs for president, rejected the governor’s version and in October succeeded in overriding the veto with the help of three Republicans. It was the first successful override vote since Christie’s term began six years ago.

But the effort failed in Assembly, where it fell three votes short.

Now the work on the bill must start over.

The bill would require that police be alerted when people seeking a gun permit ask a judge to expunge their commitment to a psychiatric hospital from their record

The new session gives Democrats more of the edge in the state Assembly. After making gains in the November election, Democrats now hold 52 of 80 seats and would need just two Republicans to override a Christie veto, instead of the seven that were required last session.

Most of the more than 3,000 bills already on the docket for the brand-new legislative session aren’t really new. Any legislation that didn’t pass both houses and reach Christie’s desk by 11:59 a.m. Tuesday is pre-filed for the new, two-year session that began at noon that day at the lawmaker’s request.

Just 326 bills, or 3.6 percent of the 9,036 bills introduced in the 2014-15 session were signed into law, according to GovNetNJ.com, an automated tracking system for legislative activity in New Jersey.

But some bills are definitely moving on a fast track and stand out from the rest, legislative leaders say.

They include (ACR19) the constitutional amendment asking voters in November whether to allow two casinos in north Jersey. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved it Thursday, based a deal brokered between Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and announced by Christie on Monda

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt’s bill requiring most employers to provide paid sick days is also back, after not making it through the Assembly last session.

Many of the pre-filed bills have circulated for years. Sometimes the waiting game pays off.

It took 34 years of lobbying and but adoption advocates succeeded in May 2014 when Christie signed a bill that will enable them to obtain their original birth records, beginning in 2017.

Democrats and Republicans also say they are focused on the finding revenue for the cash-starved Transportation Trust Fund.

The Legislature approved a resolution in the final hours of the last session letting voters decide in November whether all revenue raised by the gas tax — including any money from a future gas tax increase — should be constitutionally committed to the fund.

Prieto has repeatedly called finding a revenue source his top priority, but “there is no actual TTF solution and no bill yet,” Hester said.

Jon Bramnick

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said he, too, is committed to working toward a solution, whether it is raising the gas tax, cutting spending or a combination of strategies. Bramnick noted his Senate colleagues unveiled a proposal last year that relies on rising state revenue, borrowing, spending cuts to avoid a tax hike.

“I am willing to work with them on the TTF, and the gas tax. Nothing is off the table, although I know some Republicans will not vote for it under any circumstances,” Bramnick said.

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Bramnick discusses vote on film tax credit bill

NJTV -

Peter Meister relies on production companies choosing to shoot in New Jersey. His Ironbound Film and Television Studios houses production equipment, several stages and even on-location housing. But, in the four years since he and his collaborators set up shop, they’ve run into a road block.

State film tax credits are used as an incentive to attract production companies in an effort to create jobs and boost local economies. New Jersey’s program sunsetted in June last year, and this week Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to reinstate and expand it.

Previously, if a film or TV company spent 60 percent or more of a project’s total budget in the state, they’d be eligible for 20 percent of that money back in the form of a tax credit, which they could either use to offset taxes or sell.

Under the old program, a maximum of $10 million could be distributed to film and television production companies annually. The recent bill would have increased that annual spending cap from $10 million to $50 million.

In his veto, Christie cited a questionable return on investment: “…the Legislature has chosen to advance an expensive bill that offers a dubious return for the State in the form of jobs and economic impact…”

Jon Bramnick

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick voted against the bill. He says he doesn’t oppose the idea, but it’s a matter of priorities.

“If we’re going to lower taxes and give credits, we’re going to give it to the working families first,” Bramnick said. “After families get all the credits they need, then we’ll start talking about Hollywood companies.”

There are varying numbers thrown around on the program’s value, and differing opinions on whether the absence of financial incentives really deters companies from filming here.

A 2011 State Treasury and Economic Development Authority analysis shows the program produces questionable financial returns. Alternately, a 2010 NJIT study shows it provides a boost in local tax revenues and jobs.

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