Category: Press Release

Clifton Bill Streamlining Bid Process Approved by the Assembly

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Bidding for local or county public contracts will be simplified for small business under legislation from Assembly Republican Rob Clifton that cleared the Assembly today.

The bill, A-1794, would create jobs for local workers and reduce costs to taxpayers by lifting the requirement that bidders submit a financial statement if they are also required to furnish either a guarantee or a surety company certificate.

Rob Clifton

“Requiring unnecessary paperwork discourages small firms from bidding on projects. Increasing the number of bidders benefits the taxpayers, small business, and the decision-makers,” said Clifton, R-Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean and Burlington.

The Assemblyman noted the requirement for the financial statements was to protect the government entities and taxpayers, but that same protection is provided by a guarantee or surety bond.

“Removing unnecessary redundancy opens the field to more qualified bidders,” Clifton said. “With more efficient bidding, we can save taxpayer money and create badly needed jobs in New Jersey.”

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DeCroce Bill Extending Permit Extension Moratorium Date Helps State’s Economic Development

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican BettyLou DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic, that re-instates the moratorium on the imposition of fees on non-residential construction projects through December 31, 2014, was approved by the General Assembly today. The moratorium had expired on July 1, 2013.

BettyLou DeCroce

“The building industry is one of New Jersey’s key economic drivers as it creates jobs and facilitates commerce,” said DeCroce. “Extending the moratorium will save builders from re-applying for approvals previously obtained which only drives up the costs of a project. Unlike some recent legislative proposals that will hurt job growth in New Jersey, this bill will help build it.

“Many jobs are created both directly and indirectly due to the construction industry, such as suppliers, retailers, financial institutions and real estate,” stated DeCroce. “I would like to thank my colleagues Assemblymen Bramnick, Burzichelli, Singleton and Wimberly, and Assemblywoman Lampitt for working in a bipartisan manner on this legislation.”

The legislation, A-1907, provides that municipalities are required to return any monies paid by a developer during the time period between July1, 2013, through the effective date of the bill. Municipalities that have already spent such fees on affordable housing projects would not be required to provide a refund.

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Fiocchi Resolution Supporting Fishing Industry Approved by Assembly

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Resolution 133, sponsored by South Jersey Assembly Republican Sam Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic, which urges Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reevaluate the provisions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), was approved by the General Assembly today.

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Our fishermen, their families, and our communities have struggled with onerous federal regulations and other burdensome costs, said Fiocchi. “Their rigid and inflexible approach about the rules governing New Jersey anglers is what led to this important resolution.

“Many people in New Jersey make their living from the fishing industry,” said Fiocchi. “I have examined the provisions in the MSA, some of which are outdated, and treat each fishing region the same. A more current and thorough analysis that examines the impact MSA regulations have on a region’s fisheries is warranted. This resolution is a reasonable request that will result in more flexibility for New Jersey’s professional and recreational anglers.”

Fiocchi believes the MSA guideline are do not recognize differences in regional fishing. Currently, the act requires that overfished stocks be rebuilt as quickly as possible in a time frame not exceeding 10 years. Testifying before the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee two weeks ago, Fiocchi said he believes this restrictive time limit has lead to dramatic restrictions on harvest limits and fishing seasons.

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Assembly Advances Dancer’s Bipartisan Bills That Will Protect NJ’s Bee Industry

Press Release – (Trenton, NJ) – A package of six bipartisan bills, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, that will protect the state’s commercial and recreational bee industry and heighten public awareness about its importance to the Garden State’s food supply, was approved today by the General Assembly.

Ron Dancer

“The key to a successful agriculture industry in New Jersey is a healthy honeybee industry,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth, who noted that the state’s 20,000 bee colonies represent a $7 million honey bee industry that contributes to the production of nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually.

“Honeybees are crucial for the pollination of our blueberry, cranberry, pumpkin, squash, strawberry, peach and apple crops,” he continued. “Preserving our bee population is vital. Yet the public knows very little about the importance our state’s official insect and other bee species. These measures are needed to help educate the public, provide additional protections to commercial and hobbyist beekeepers and encourage residents to support beekeepers.”

Dancer’s bill, A-1294, extends” Right to Farm” protections to commercial beekeepers to protect them from nuisance complaints. Currently, if a complaint is filed, the case is referred to a municipal court which can be time consuming and costly. In addition, prosecutors and judges usually have little understanding of the industry. Under this measure, such complaints would be referred to a county agricultural board which better understands issues involving beekeeping.

His second bill, A-1295, protects hobbyist beekeepers by authorizing the state to regulate the keeping of beehives while at the same time giving municipalities a role in managing this growing hobby. It also requires the state to prepare best management practices for hobbyist beekeepers. Beekeeping as a hobby is gaining popularity in New Jersey in both urban and suburban areas, but because the general public and local officials know very little about the hobby, some municipalities are attempting to ban beehives.

The third bill, A-1296, establishes a fine of up to $500 for each offense when an individual intentionally destroys a man-made native bee hive. A native bee is native to the state and, unlike a honeybee, does not produce honey, but provides for the pollination of crops and plants.

The fourth bill, A-2180, designates the Common Eastern Bumble Bee as New Jersey State Native Pollinator.

The last two, AJR-51, designates one week each year as “Pollinator Week,” while AR-71 urges residents to support New Jersey beekeepers by purchasing honey made in state.

“This package of legislation will ensure that the nearly 3,000 beekeepers throughout the state conform to safety standards,” stated Dancer, who noted that the New Jersey Beekeepers Association (NJBA) enthusiastically supports the bills.

Bills A-1294, A-1295, A-1296 and AR-71 are also sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. Democrat sponsors include Bob Andrzejczak, Marlene Caride, Gilbert Wilson, Celeste Riley, Annette Quijano and Vincent Mazzeo.

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Space Bills Will Protect NJ’s Bee Industry, Educate Public

Press Release – Four bipartisan bills sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space that will protect and enhance the state’s commercial and recreational bee industry, which is essential to the Garden State’s food supply, was approved today by the General Assembly.

Parker Space

“Most people are not aware of just how important bees are to the agriculture industry, specifically to our food chain,” stated Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, whose family has farmed in Sussex County for eight generations. “In New Jersey, they are instrumental in pollinating our cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, peach, pumpkin, squash, and apple crops.

“Our state’s $7 million honey bee industry contributes to the production of nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually,” continued Space. “These measures will provide additional protections to the state’s 3,000 commercial and hobbyist beekeepers while ensuring they conform to safety standards.”

Bill A-1294 extends “Right to Farm” protections to commercial beekeepers to protect them from nuisance complaints. Currently, if a complaint is filed, the case is referred to a municipal court which can be time consuming and costly. In addition, prosecutors and judges usually have little understanding of the industry. Under this measure, such complaints would be referred to a county agricultural board which better understands issues involving beekeeping.

Beekeeping as a hobby is gaining popularity in New Jersey in both urban and suburban areas, but because the general public and local officials know very little about the hobby, some municipalities are attempting to ban beehives. Space’s second bill, A-1295, allows for hobbyist beekeeping and protects hobbyist beekeepers by authorizing the state Department of Agriculture to regulate the keeping of beehives while at the same time giving municipalities a role in managing this growing hobby at the discretion of the Department. It also requires the Department to prepare best management practices for hobbyist beekeepers.

The third bill, A-1296, establishes a fine of up to $500 for each offense when an individual intentionally destroys a man-made native bee hive. A native bee is native to the state and, unlike a honeybee, does not produce honey, but provides for the pollination of crops and plants.

The fourth bill, AR-71, urges residents to support New Jersey beekeepers by purchasing honey made in state.

Space said the bills will also help educate the public about the state insect.

“The truth is most bees will not sting you if not provoked,” he said. “People also don’t realize that honey and native bees are not the same as hornets and wasps. Honeybees are relatively gentle. It’s the yellow jackets that are more aggressive and likely to sting.”

Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth, and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, R-Sussex, Warren, and Morris, also sponsor bills A-1294, A-1295, A-1296 and AR-71.

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Fiocchi Says New Jersey Cannot Afford Senate Dems Tax Increases

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Sam Fiocchi, R-Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic, issued the following statement in response to the $1.6 billion increase on income and businesses Senate Democrat leaders recently announced:

Sam Fiocchi

Sam Fiocchi

“Judging from their single-minded pursuit of tax increases, the Trenton Democrats’ plan will be disastrous for middle-class families struggling to find jobs and make ends meet. The last time New Jersey tried to tax itself out of its fiscal woes, thousands of residents left our state along with more than $70 billion in wealth. Rather than fiscal solvency, we were left with the largest structural budget deficit in the entire country. South Jersey’s unemployment rate is already amongst the highest in New Jersey and returning to the same failed policies that drove our state to the brink of bankruptcy will only exacerbate that problem.”

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Ciattarelli on Senate Dems Proposal to Raise Taxes

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Jack Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex, issued the following statement after Senate Democrat leaders announced a $1.6 billion income and business tax increase to balance the FY15 budget:

Jack Ciattarelli

“In response to the budget crisis, the Democratic leadership has not engaged in any bi-partisan dialogue with Republicans. In fact, there has been no exchange of ideas focused on solving the budget crisis. Instead, out of nowhere, they unilaterally announce, in a very partisan way, their own solution – an increase in personal and corporate income tax rates. Their proposed solution is in the name of certain New Jerseyans doing their ‘fair share.’

“The Democratic proposal makes no mention of leveraging innovation to streamline our state government. No mention of re-engineering our government workforce to achieve downsizing or reductions in staff. No mention of any change in benefits for all new hires or public employees with less than 10 years in the system. No mention of a change in the school funding formula that saves the state money and is equitable to all school districts and New Jerseyans.

“During times of crisis, elected officials, and especially leadership, have an obligation to bring people together to solve problems.

“The Democratic budget proposal does not demonstrate leadership or effective crisis management. On the contrary, it is thinly veiled pandering and gamesmanship. It is also the kind of partisan politics that paralyzes government and diminishes people’s faith in our ability to solve problems.”

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Assembly Republicans Brown, Rodriguez-Gregg Call Democrats’ Plan a Job-Killer

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republicans Christopher J. Brown and Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, R-Burlington, Atlantic, Ocean, issued the following statement after Senate Democrat leaders announced a $1.6 billion income and business tax increase to balance the FY15 budget:

Chris J. Brown

“This is a back-breaker for job-creators who provide weekly paychecks to New Jersey’s middle-class. I am concerned, as a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, that this political ploy will result in devastating job losses for families,” said Brown.

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

“This assault on employers will result in too many middle-class workers paying with their jobs. Working families need more job opportunities, not higher taxes,” Rodriguez-Gregg said.

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Auth: Senate Dems’ Plan Will Drive Jobs Out of State

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Robert Auth, R-Bergen and Passaic, issued the following statement after Senate Democrat leaders announced a $1.6 billion income and business tax increase to balance the FY15 budget:

“This is the worst thing you can do right now. New York is poaching our job-creators by advertising aggressively and offering 10 year tax incentives. That’s how they are stealing our jobs. Instead stopping them, Democrats want to push businesses further out the door with higher taxes and eliminating incentives.

“We lost Hertz in my district, which moved to Florida. 550 good paying jobs – gone. That is what we face with higher taxes. Loading more taxes on top of the job-creators that were going to stay will just send them running too.”

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Simon: $1.6 Billion Tax Increase Fails All N.J. Taxpayers

Donna Simon

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Assembly Republican Donna Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, issued the following statement after Senate Democrat leaders announced a $1.6 billion income and business tax increase to balance the FY15 budget:

“The Democrats’ outrageous plan is a return to past policies and threatens to reverse most of the critical reforms of the last four years, when Democrats and Republicans worked with Gov. Christie to make hard choices necessary to make our state competitive and more affordable.

“The Democrats’ plan will crush job creation and cost jobs for the middle class, a move that fails every taxpayer in our state, regardless of income or tax rate.”

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