Category: Press Release

Panel Advances Auth-Carroll Electronic Legislative Financial Disclosure Bill

Press Release – A resolution sponsored by Assemblymen Robert Auth and Michael Patrick Carroll that allows legislators to electronically file their financial disclosure statements with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) today won Assembly Judiciary Committee approval.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“Financial disclosure statements help strengthen confidence in government by assuring the public that their elected officials aren’t putting their own financial interests ahead of the public interest,” said Auth, R-Bergen and Passaic. “This measure is an important, common-sense step in providing the public with easier access to that information.”

The resolution, ACR-166, provides lawmakers with the option of electronically filing their legislative financial disclosure statements, beginning this year, in addition to the current method of hard copy filing. OLS will be responsible for providing the technical assistance necessary to carry out the changes.

Michael Patrick Carroll

“Producing and retaining government records in New Jersey has not always kept pace with modern technological advances. This is an effort to leverage technology to make the process of filing financial disclosure statements more efficient and transparent,” said Carroll, R-Morris and Somerset. “It will bridge the gap that currently exists in the collection and dissemination of important legislative financial information.”

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Acting Governor Guadagno Joins Fiocchi for Meeting with Local Business Owners

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi today welcomed Acting Governor Kim Guadagno at his district office in Vineland for a roundtable discussion with 12 small business leaders. Among the topics discussed were ways to improve the complex and costly regulatory process in Trenton and helping businesses grow and create jobs.

“The best way to understand and address the unique struggles and opportunities our businesses face every day is to hear directly from our business leaders at events like this,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “With open and honest discussions, we will build on our progress and find solutions that will help our state and its business community grow together.”

The Acting Governor oversees the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA), the state’s four-pronged comprehensive economic development strategy. As chair of the Red Tape Commission, she is engaged in ongoing review and reform of the state’s regulatory process.

“The most important job for us from my perspective is to encourage job creation,” said Fiocchi, R – Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “Everyone around the table today brought some good insight on how to implement smarter regulatory policies. This was very helpful for the Acting Governor and me as we look for more ways to rebuild our economy.”

“Coming into the crucial summer season, I was encouraged to learn about the state’s continued recovery, post-Sandy and the administrations commitment to the tourism industry,” said Will Morey of Morey’s Piers. “The summer is the key to survival for many of our businesses and families here depend on strong seasonal job opportunities.”

“We really appreciate the good work she has done on red tape,” Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt, Owner of Suasion Communications Group, said of the Acting Governor’s efforts. “Competing with our neighboring states has always been difficult and removing those obstacles helps. I hope we can continue to cut red tape and improve the business environment.”

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Panel Approves Fiocchi Bill to Revitalize Business Districts in Millville, Vineland

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi to sustain the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program in Millville, Vineland and five other cities was approved today by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee. A-4120 continues the UEZ program for 10 years in select cities.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“The local economy of Millville and Vineland is the linchpin for Cumberland County and much of South Jersey,” said Fiocchi, R – Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic. “Continuing the UEZ program in these critical downtown districts will provide benefit throughout the region.”

Fiocchi noted that the UEZ’s are an asset to businesses and consumers, who pay only half the state sales tax on items purchased within the zone.

“This program helps attract customers, commercial development, and new jobs to fuel an economic renaissance in areas that need the boost,” Fiocchi said. “With unemployment significantly higher than the state average, now is not the time to let this beneficial designation expire.”

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Ciattarelli-Simon Laud 10 District Schools Ranked in NJ’s Top 100

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jack Ciattarelli

Donna Simon

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Assemblywoman Donna Simon, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex praised the 10 public schools in their legislative district that were rated among the top 100 elementary schools in New Jersey. The rankings were compiled by Niche, a founded by Carnegie Mellon University students in 2002.

The District 16 schools include: Riverside Elementary School – Princeton (1); Littlebrook Elementary School- Princeton (11); Johnson Park Elementary School – Princeton (15); Village Elementary School – Skillman (40); Community Park Elementary School – (50); Monmouth Junction Elementary School – Monmouth Junction (65); Cambridge Elementary School – Kendall Park (70); Constable Elementary School – Kendall Park (76); Woods Road Elementary School – Hillsborough (81); and Sunnymead Elementary School – Hillsborough (88).

“Students, their families, teachers, and administrators deserve recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of public education,” said Ciattarelli. “Students’ efforts to fully develop their skills, challenge themselves to attain a level of excellence, and the commitment of all who influence students must be commended. These schools are proof that dedication and commitment are worth the effort.”

“These outstanding schools are to be highly commended and recognized for promoting an atmosphere where learning and nurturing academic excellence is a top priority,” said Simon. “These accomplishments take a strong partnership between the students, school, top shelf teachers, and parents. I congratulate them on becoming a model of education in New Jersey. We are proud to boast of your success.”

 

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Brown Bill: Resurrect Decaying Neighborhoods With Revitalization Tax Credit Program

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Chris A. Brown

Atlantic City could have another tool to help it make neighborhoods cleaner and safer for families under a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Chris A. Brown. The bill, which amends the “Neighborhood Revitalization State Tax Credit Act” to include Atlantic City passed the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee today.

“The State must fulfill its bi-partisan promise to help Atlantic City transition into a destination resort, which has two main requirements,” said Brown, R – Atlantic. “First, there should be no gaming expansion outside of Atlantic City. Second, we have to help create clean and safe neighborhoods for our middle-class families.”

The bill expands qualifications for the Neighborhood Revitalization Act signed in 2001 to include Atlantic City. The program would provide up to 100 percent tax credits to businesses for assistance implementing a revitalization and preservation project.

Brown, who has worked with the Governor’s Advisory Commission chaired by Jon Hanson to develop a comprehensive approach to revitalizing Atlantic City, noted protecting Atlantic City from North Jersey casinos until it transitions into a destination resort will create more job opportunities for middle-class families.

“After securing a job, affording a home is the next step in the American Dream,” Brown said. “We need to insure there are opportunities for middle-class families to live and raise their children in local neighborhoods close to where they work,” Brown said.

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Simon Bill To Revamp State Museum Passes Assembly Panel

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Donna Simon’s bill revising the governance and administration of the State Museum in Trenton was approved today by the Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee. A-3509 establishes a Division of the State Museum in the Department of State and abolishes the museum board of trustees.

Donna Simon

“We are forging a new direction so the State Museum can finally live up to its promise,” said Simon, R – Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex. “We can have a museum that attracts more visitors, provides more relevant offerings, and showcases the rich history of our state. Effective fund-raising and access to grants will allow our museum to compete with better-known institutions in the tri-state region.”

Under the bill, all duties and powers of the current board are transferred to the division. Also, the bill required the division to employ an executive director with a minimum of five years experience managing an accredited museum.

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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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