Category: Press Release

Rible: Dems Seek $240 Million in Unfunded Spending as Roads and Bridges Crumble

Dave Rible

Press Release – Assemblyman Dave Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, issued the following statement regarding today’s legislative agenda in the General Assembly:

“Today’s agenda represents the misguided priorities of the majority party, which is seeking to spend nearly $240 million through today’s legislation alone. The residents of New Jersey are watching their property taxes increase while their roads and bridges crumble. Funding our Transportation Trust Fund is just one of many critical issues that remains unaddressed while the majority party pushes through legislation that contains hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending. I am hopeful that we can finally stop this type of irresponsible spending that has put our state in a dire financial situation and left us unable to meet our current needs.”

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Bramnick Renews Call for Reforming Sick Time Payouts

Republican Leader Cites $232,000 Bayonne Payout to Retired Fire Chief

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jon Bramnick

Following reports of a hefty payout package for the retiring Bayonne fire chief, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick called for immediate changes in the state’s sick-leave payout rules.

“This enormous payout is a reason why property taxes are so high,” Bramnick (R-Union) said. “Taxpayers bear the burden of over $800 million in accrued payouts.”

The Jersey Journal reported that newly retired fire Chief Greg Rogers will receive a payout of $231,798 for unused vacation, sick time and terminal leave, according to state and city records.

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Assembly Panel Approves Carroll & Bucco Bill Ensuring PILOT Payment Distributions are Fair to Property Taxpayers

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation (A326/1475) sponsored by Assembly Republicans Michael Patrick Carroll and Anthony M. Bucco, approved today by the State and Local Government Committee, requires a portion of payments-in-lieu-of-taxes to be shared with county government and school districts.

To spur economic development or urban renewal, local governments often negotiate payments-in-lieu-of-taxes making a project more desirable for developers. These payments to a city or municipality brings significantly less revenue to the budget, but can be justified by the future expansion of the tax base through new development and increased property values.

Michael Patrick Carroll

“These agreements can be a win-win for the municipality and the developer, but county government and schools don’t receive any of the payments. Property taxpayers in other towns are forced to fill the void with higher tax bills,” said Carroll (R – Morris). “This legislation addresses the inequities of payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, ensuring all taxpayers are treated fairly, and that counties and schools get their share.”

Anthony M. Bucco

“The law is intrinsically unfair when municipalities can grant abatements without discussion with the county and school boards that lose out on tax revenue,” said Bucco (R – Morris). “Just like property tax payments, these payments should be split up and disbursed fairly. Projects that are designed to strengthen the local economy should not be built on the backs of New Jersey property taxpayers.”

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Webber Bill Requiring Public Listing of Unfunded Mandates Released by Committee

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jay Webber

Legislation (A-1034) instructing the Department of Community Affairs to prepare and annually update a list of all unfunded state and federal mandates imposed on municipalities and counties was released by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee today. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic), specifies that a cost estimate of each mandate must be included in the list.

“Too often, local government is directed to implement a law or regulation that doesn’t make allowances for how the directive is funded,” said Webber. “When there is no requirement for the Federal or State Governments to pay for such ‘free’ mandates, there will be more and more of them. Only those mandates are not free, because taxpayers wind up paying for them one way or another.”

“This bill improves transparency, giving taxpayers access to information on the hidden costs of programs or regulations for which they pay, but don’t yet know it,” continued Assemblyman Webber.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that Congress shifted at least $131 billion in costs to states between 2004 and 2008.

A 2014 study by the Congressional Budget Office reported that of the 539 bills analyzed, 47 contained intergovernmental mandates.

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Phoebus: Roe v. Wade not About Women’s Health Care

Gail Phoebus

Gail Phoebus

Press Release – Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, made the statement below before casting a vote in opposition to the Assembly Human Services Committee’s approval today of a resolution (ACR-119) commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling which legalized abortion:

“Let’s be real. Roe v. Wade isn’t about women’s health care issues. To sit here and have the Legislature celebrate 58 million abortions since 1973 is abhorrent. Apparently gone are the days of claiming that ‘no one is pro-abortion,’ but only pro-choice. If we looked, I think we would find far more women who regret having abortions and have a more difficult task finding women who regret choosing life.

Our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, is clear: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

By serving in this legislative body, we are representatives of the people and we govern with their consent. I take my duty seriously to protect the rights of all – born and unborn.”

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Auth & Schepisi Bill Expanding Scope of ‘Joan’s Law’ for Murdering a Minor Gets Panel Approval

Assembly Republican Press Release -

The Assembly Judiciary Committee today advanced legislation, sponsored by Republicans Assemblyman Robert Auth and Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, requiring life imprisonment without parole for molesting and killing a child under age 18.

Robert Auth

Robert Auth

“We don’t have the death penalty in New Jersey. Life without parole is the worst sentence we can require for these sexual predators, and it is more than warranted for horrific crimes against minors” said Auth (R – Bergen). “This is a crack-down on the most despicable creatures in our society.”

The bill (A373) expands the scope of Joan’s law, which denies parole to anyone serving a life sentence for molesting and killing a child under age 14. The legislation protects all minors, increasing the age threshold to 18.

Joan D’Alessandro was seven years old when she disappeared after delivering her last two boxes of Girl Scout cookies. He body was found three days later on Easter Sunday. A neighbor pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison, which at the time made him eligible for parole after 14 years.

“For me, this is personal. This horrific crime happened in the district I represent, and the grief and pain was felt throughout the entire community,” said Auth, who was a junior fireman when Joan D’Alessandro went missing. He recalls helping with the desperate search for the child. “Predators should never be allowed back on our neighborhood streets,” said Auth.

Rosemarie D’Alessandro, Joan’s mother, dedicated her life to promoting harsh penalties for similar crimes. She has lobbied for – and collected thousands of signatures on a petition in support of – this bill, which also had been approved by the Judiciary Committee in the previous legislative session.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

“We’re sending a message: If you prey on a minor, there is no second chance. The young are the most innocent and most susceptible targets, and protecting must always be the priority,” said Schepisi (R – Bergen). “On behalf of the D’Alessandro family and their multi-decade journey to tighten laws to protect our children, I am proud to be a sponsor of a bill which may represent a final step in ensuring these protections.”

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Panel Advances Muñoz Bill to Protect Health Care Personnel Who Work With Chemo Drugs

Press Release – Legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors to protect healthcare personnel who handle hazardous chemotherapy drugs today received Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approval.

Nancy Munoz

The bill (A-837), the “Hazardous Drug Safe Handling Act,” requires the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) to establish rules and regulations for the safe handling of chemotherapy drugs by health care personnel in a health care setting or an animal or veterinary facility. This includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, operating room staff, shipping, receiving and laundry workers and waste handlers.

“The development and use of chemotherapy has exploded since it was first used in the 1940s. Treatment often consists of a combination of chemo drugs, which are very potent,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “These powerful drugs may expose workers to a number of serious short-term and chronic effects. While providing potentially lifesaving medicine and comfort to cancer patients is very rewarding, it can be emotionally stressful. Health care professionals don’t need the added burden of worrying about adverse effects from the drugs they are administering. They deserve a safe work environment.”

The regulations will provide guidelines on necessary precautions and controls to eliminate or minimize exposure; use of protective equipment; safe handling practices, including handling, receiving, storage, preparing, administering, waste handling, cleaning, housekeeping, labeling and signage, and spill control and response procedures. Employers will also be required to provide hazardous drugs training to all employees who have or are likely to have occupational exposure to hazardous drugs.

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Rible Bill Improves Safety of School Bus Passengers

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Dave Rible

Assemblyman Dave Rible introduced legislation today establishing a task force to study the safety of school bus passengers during emergency situations.

“School security and the safety of our students always has been and will remain one of my top priorities,” Rible (R-Monmouth) said. “Unfortunately, we cannot let our guard down once our children walk out the door and get on the bus.”

Rible’s legislation (A-3430) directs the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the New Jersey State Police and Director of the Office of Homeland Security and State Preparedness, to study the safety of school bus passengers during emergency situations, including bomb threats, active shooters and acts of terrorism.

“As a father and former police officer, I want to make sure that we are taking every possible step to ensure the safety of our children,” Rible stated. “We live in a dangerous world and I am hopeful this task force will help protect kids when they get on a bus.”

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Committee Moves Dancer’s Emergency Vehicle Sale Bill

Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer that requires the removal of equipment and markings on certain used emergency vehicles prior to their sale today received Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee approval.

“It would not be surprising for the new owner of a used police car to use its equipment or markings to impersonate a police officer, exceed any given speed limit or ride the shoulder of a jam-packed highway in an effort to get through traffic more quickly,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “This safeguard will ensure that individuals who purchase such vehicles do not use a previously authorized emergency vehicle for a non-authorized purpose.

Ron Dancer

“While the vast majority of people wouldn’t even entertain such an idea, unfortunately, there are unscrupulous folks who would try to take advantage for personal gain,” he continued. “This bill is a preventative measure. It will help stop those types of situations from occurring in the first place.”

The bill (A-856) requires that, prior to the sale or transfer of an authorized emergency vehicle, any equipment or marking that would identify it as an emergency vehicle must be removed. Under current law, there is no requirement for the removal of equipment and emergency markings prior the sale of the vehicle.

The measure defines an authorized emergency vehicle as any fire department, police department, ambulance or other vehicles approved by the chief administrator when operated in response to an emergency call.

Equipment that must be removed includes handheld spotlights affixed to side mirrors, antennas used for emergency response communication equipment, mobile vision and mobile data terminals, sirens, strobe lights, or any other light with optional strobe functions typically used on an authorized emergency vehicle. The markings that must be removed include any decal, insignia, or striping added to the authorized emergency vehicle by a state or municipal agency, or any other government entity engaged in law enforcement, fire services or emergency medical transportation.

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Ciattarelli Statement on OMNIA and Tiered Health Plans

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Jack Ciattarelli

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset), a member of Assembly Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee, issued the following statement today concerning OMNIA:

“The OMNIA Health Alliance unveiled by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has certainly generated a great deal of discussion and controversy. This is despite the fact that this newly designed plan uses a tiered strategy long deployed by all insurance companies to improve healthcare quality and cost.

“While I understand the concerns of certain health care providers, I believe the OMNIA plan does not disadvantage any patient or provider. On the contrary, I believe this plan provides patients with additional choices in coverage, improves care, control costs, and creates a competitive marketplace sorely in need of free market dynamics.

“Regulation of the healthcare market place isn’t, nor should it be, laissez faire. That’s why I strongly support New Jersey network adequacy regulations, which are among the most rigorous in the nation. Patients are most important in any healthcare discussion and these regulations ensure that any plan, including OMNIA, provides them with choices.

“When it comes to the delivery and cost of healthcare, there is considerable controversy and little consensus. What we can agree on is the accepted understanding that the healthcare marketplace needs change. The dialogue that OMNIA has triggered presents us with the opportunity to take a step back, look holistically at the healthcare system, and chart a path forward that considers all interests, with patients always being first and foremost. “

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