Tag: Holly Schepisi

Schepisi Legislation Will Help NJ Business Compete Around the Globe

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

To help New Jersey businesses compete in the global market, Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi has introduced legislation establishing an Office of International Trade and Protocol within the Economic Development Authority.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

“There is a world of opportunity waiting, but many companies are dissuaded by language, geographic, financial and regulatory challenges,” said Schepisi, R – Bergen and Passaic. “This new office will help businesses explore marketing their products abroad. It will help tear down the barriers and sell our ‘Made in New Jersey’ products to expanding markets across the globe. International sales will strengthen our country and our state, and create good jobs here at home.”

The office created by Schepisi’s bill, A-4450, will encourage and promote the expansion and development of foreign export markets for New Jersey products and services while providing assistance to businesses in developing international markets for their products with consultants and advisors that have specialized expertise. Participating companies will pay on a “no-profit, no-loss basis.” The office will partner with worldwide export networks and foreign governments, and establish internship and job-training programs.

“Commerce doesn’t end at the state line or at the border,” said Schepisi. “We know what Garden State businesses can do. This bill will help them expand their horizons, and put more hard-working New Jersey residents to work.”

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Schepisi talks about NJ in a global economy

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

NJ 101.5 -

There is a world of economic opportunity just waiting for New Jersey companies in today’s global market, but there are challenges that must be addressed, according to one New Jersey lawmaker.

A Garden State assemblywoman wants to create the Office of International Trade and Protocol within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

“The new office would encourage and promote the expansion and development of foreign export markets for New Jersey products and services as well as providing assistance to New Jersey businesses in developing international markets for their products and services overseas,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Westwood).

A bill (A-4450) sponsored by Schepisi would establish the office and staff it with consultants and advisors with very specialized expertise. The assemblywoman acknowledged that for some New Jersey companies seeking to do business internationally the language barriers are a very big challenge.

“The goal would be for certain countries and core languages that we would have people who would be able to facilitate and so, if we’re looking to do something with South Korea and the Korean markets we would have somebody within the office that would be able to speak that language,” Schepisi said.

Participating companies would pay on a “no-profit, no-loss” basis which means the office would be partially funded through profits earned by New Jersey businesses.

“The idea is to encourage and promote foreign investment in New Jersey by maintaining contact with representatives of foreign governments and businesses on an ongoing basis,” Schepisi said.

By helping Garden State businesses confront other challenges geographic, regulatory and financial challenges in a global market to state could assist the companies in creating jobs and expanding their horizons, Schepisi predicted.

“Commerce doesn’t end at the state line or at the border,” she said.

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Schepisi Bill Allowing Biofuel Production in New Jersey Approved by the Assembly

Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi paving the way for new jobs for New Jersey workers in the expanding biodiesel industry earned approval from the General Assembly today.

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

“New Jersey’s geographics makes it a perfect fit for the development of local biofuel production,” said Schepisi, R- Bergen and Passaic. “The growing industry has its sites set on New Jersey, but we are one of only two states in the U.S. that does not have statutes in place for converting natural fats, greases and plants into renewable, clean biofuel in an environmentally friendly way.”

Schepisi’s bill, S-2599/A-4121 sends a signal for producers that New Jersey is open for business. Schepisi noted that the development of just one biodiesel plant can create 200 construction jobs, 35 to 40 long-term, good-paying jobs for plant employees, and more than 800 jobs in related industries like trucking and agriculture.

“The industry is experiencing rapid growth, and it is time for New Jersey to get in on the action.” said Schepisi. “The expansion of this new industry into our state will put thousands of people to work and ignite needed economic growth waterfront and track-side industrial areas.”

Schepisi’s bill now goes to the Governor’s desk to await his signature. The Senate version of the bill was approved in March.

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Schepisi Bill Defends First Responders’ Right to Volunteer

Public Retirees’ Can Jeopardize Their Pensions Under Current Rules

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

Legislation introduced by Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi rescues volunteer firefighters who have retired from public employment from IRS language that could have prevented them from responding to emergencies.

“Our local Bergen County Fire Chiefs Association first brought the need for this legislation to my attention,” said Schepisi,R- Bergen andPassaic.  “Under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC),a retiring police officer,DPW worker,or municipal employee who was also a volunteer firefighter in the town where they worked,would have to sever both their employment and volunteer relationship at the time of retirement in order for the IRS to consider the retirement “bona vide.”  This meant that if the retiree continued to volunteer,his or her pension could be in jeopardy.”

“The unintended consequence of this interpretation of the IRC would devastate a town’s ability to recruit and maintain volunteers and would have forced the mandatory retirement of our most experienced and seasoned volunteers,” continued Schepisi.  “Further,it jeopardizes the response-readiness of crucial volunteer fire departments. We can’t change IRS code,but we can protect volunteers and limit the impact on towns.  If a retiring member of PERS or PFRS is in a pre-existing volunteer relationship,they should be allowed to continue in that capacity.”

The bill,A-4399,remedies IRS language a requiring a retiring employee covered by the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) or the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) to make a “bona fide severance from employment” that prohibits them from both working and volunteering for six full months.  Schepisi’s bill clarifies that a retiring member of PERS or PFRS who is already a volunteer firefighter prior to retirement may continue that established relationship.

“These dedicated,skilled and experienced volunteers respond to emergencies for no more payment than the gratitude of their neighbors,” said Schepisi.  “They should be able to continue to protect the community without risking their pensions.”


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Schepisi Bill Requires Coverage for Emergencies Handled at Out-Patient Facilities and Physician’s Office

Assembly Republican Press Release -

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is sponsoring legislation (A-4401) which would prohibit insurance companies from requiring pre-certification for tests or procedures that are done on an emergency basis, regardless of whether treatment takes place in a hospital emergency room, at an out-patient facility or physician’s office.

“People with health insurance shouldn’t have to jump through hoops just to satisfy insurance companies when their life depends on it,” said Schepisi, R-Bergen and Passaic. “Waiting a day for insurance companies to decide where a test can be performed is unnecessary and can be life-threatening. Insurers should cover the costs in an urgent situation, regardless of where the test was performed.”

Schepisi cited an instance in her district when a specialist ordered a specific test for a patient who was at risk of having a blood clot. The insurance company demanded precertification for such a test to be done in the specialist’s office and instructed the man to wait as the precertification process would take at least a day. The specialist was concerned that if the man did indeed have a blood clot, he could die before morning. Instead, the specialist advised the man to leave his office and go immediately to the emergency room where there would be no question that insurance would pay its share of the test. Under Assemblywoman Schepisi’s bill, such an emergency test would be covered no matter where it is performed.

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River Vale Assemblywoman recovering from surgery after brain aneurysm

Source: Bergen Record -

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

River Vale Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is home recovering from surgery to treat a brain aneurysm and is expected to be sidelined from state politics “for a while,” she said.

Schepisi, 43, became aware of the aneurysm in March when she began showing symptoms of “neurological distress,” which peaked late one night.

“I woke up, jumped out of bed and told my husband it felt like my brain exploded, like a gun went off in my head,” she said.

Schepisi said she turned to the Internet and typed “My brain just exploded” into Google. After reading several articles, she determined that she exhibited symptoms of an aneurysm, and two days later drove herself to Hackensack University Medical Center, where doctors confirmed her diagnosis. She then visited four doctors for recommendations for treatment.

Schepisi underwent a roughly five-hour procedure Tuesday called a craniotomy with a clipping, in which a six-inch, crescent-shaped incision was made from the middle of her hair part-line to behind her ear and a surgeon inserted a titanium clip around the aneurysm, which is the swelling of a blood vessel in the brain, which can be fatal.

The craniotomy is a “permanent fix,” she said. “Now there should be no risk of rupture.”

The surgery was performed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, but was originally planned for late June or early July so Schepisi, a Republican, could participate in legislative committees and voting sessions before a summer break. Schepisi, who ran for election two weeks after having a Caesarean section to deliver her second child, said she “has been a bit of a workaholic and I do have a tendency to push myself, even when I’m ill.”

But when she had an episode in which she started blacking out at home several weeks ago, Schepisi pushed the surgery up to this week. She was discharged Thursday afternoon.

Schepisi is expected to stay at home recovering for the next six to eight weeks, and doctors told her she is limited to walking but no exercise. The surgery has caused some swelling and bruising on her face, she said, so “it looks like I survived a round in an MMA cage fight.”

And since the surgery also included inserting titanium into her skull, Schepisi and her husband, Paul, now share something new in common. Around the time she discovered the aneurysm, Paul Schepisi was convalescing from a skiing accident in which he fractured his collarbone and had steel plates inserted to realign the bone.

“It’ll be interesting the next time we go through an airport checkpoint,” Holly Schepisi said.

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Schepisi concerned by precedent of legislators condemning state settlement agreements.

Source: Assembly Republican Video -

Holly Schepisi

Thursday, Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen and Passaic) spoke against Assembly resolution AR-242 which condemned the $225 million settlement reached with Exxon Mobil by the State Attorney General.

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Schepisi Bill Protects Property Taxpayers When Businesses Leave

Assembly Republican Press Release -

When Companies Vote With Their Feet, Property Taxpayers Pay Too High A Price

This week, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi introduced legislation to lessen the impact on property taxpayers when big businesses pack up and leave.

Holly Schepisi

“Property taxpayers shouldn’t be socked to make up the difference when big companies leave New Jersey over higher taxes and costs,” said Schepisi. “We have to put the breaks on these built in tax hikes to protect the residents and businesses that are staying to help us rebuild our economy.”

Schepisi’s bill (A-4402) would allow municipalities to apply for short-term transition aid when key businesses that provide significant tax ratables close to lessen the impact on property taxpayers.

In a letter sent to Division of Local Government Services Director Timothy Cunningham, Schepisi called attention to the tax loss in Montvale after the closing of Barr Laboratories. Schepisi requested the division “…grant Montvale transitional aid to assist it as it adjusts to this loss in ratables…Without assistance, Montvale residents will experience a significant property tax increase due to the devaluation of the Barr Labs property.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is acquiring the Barr Laboratories facility and it is estimated the town will experience a $750,000 loss in property tax revenue, which will only be partially offset by a payment in lieu of taxes, when the transaction is finalized as a result of Sloan’s tax-exempt status.

In addition to Montvale, Schepisi also identified the closing of Pearson Education in Upper Saddle River, and Hertz and Sony in Park Ridge as other examples of towns that face a similar loss in ratables.

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Schepisi speaks about legislation rejecting NJ’s Exxon settlement

Asbury Park Press -

The state Assembly voted Thursday, mostly along party lines, to go on record against Gov. Chris Christie’s administration’s controversial settlement of an envrionmental damages lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

The resolution adopted by the Assembly doesn’t scuttle the $225 million agreement or have any weight beyond urging the Superior Court judge who will ultimately decide whether to approve the settlement to reject it because it’s inadequate and “shocks the conscience.”

Experts hired by the state during the decade-long litigation had estimated the state should pursue $2.6 billion to restore the sites of the oil refineries and related operations in Bayonne and the Bayway site in Linden and $6.3 billion for compensatory damages. ExxonMobil fought the case and said those estimates were developed with faulty methodology.

Holly Schepisi

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, R-Bergen, expressed concern the Legislature going forward will involve itself in more active lawsuits. She also said appeals in the case could go on for another 10 years and end with the state getting nothing, if no settlement is struck.

“Endorsing this resolution gives me grave concern that we’re setting a precedent for any settlement, second-guessing any sort of litigation matter that our Attorney General’s Office handles and in doing so that we’re potentially improperly attempting to influence a court as legislators to find in some sort of fashion on an active matter that we have not been privy to for approximately 10 years,” Schepisi said.

The resolution passed by a vote of 45-16, with nine voting to abstain. Forty-one votes are needed for passage.

All nine votes to abstain were cast by Republicans: Christopher Brown, R-Burlington; Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth; Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean; John DiMaio, R-Warren; Amy Handlin, R-Monmouth; Gregory McGuckin, R-Ocean; Erik Peterson, R-Hunterdon; Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, R-Burlington; and Jay Webber R-Morris.

All of the votes against the resolution were made by Republicans.

The Department of Environmental Protection is taking public comments on the settlement until June 5. After the state formally responds to the comments, the settlement can be submitted to Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan, who had heard the case and was believed to be close to a decision when the state and Exxon instead settled the case. The agreement would require Hogan’s approval.


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Bramnick-Schepisi discuss Bridgegate

Jon Bramnick

Holly Schepisi

Star Ledger -

Friday’s federal indictment against his former allies involved in the George Washington Bridge scandal isn’t going to make governing in Trenton any easier for Gov. Chris Christie.

Since the scandal hit in January 2014, Christie’s second-term agenda — with the exception of an overhaul to the bail system and changes to state drug laws — didn’t get very far in the Democratic-led Legislature, which had worked with Christie to cap property tax growth and overhaul the pension system during his first term. The governor’s biggest initiative — further cutbacks to pension and health benefits for public workers — has thus far been a non-starter.

While there was little new information in Friday’s developments, it’s far from the end of the scandal. The specter of criminal trials now loom in which new information could be divulged, leaving open the possibility of more politically damaging revelations.

While Christie’s influence in Trenton is diminished from his first term, it hasn’t collapsed. Republicans in the Legislature, who have refused to join Democrats to override Christie’s vetoes even when it has put them in politically tenuous positions, show no signs of abandoning support for him.

“He did his own internal investigation which pretty much substantiates what took place today,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen), a member of the committee that investigated the scandal. “I really don’t think it impacts his governorship in any sort of way.”

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Union) said that “now hopefully we can get back to the table with the Democrats and begin to get the job done we were sent down to do.”

“Chris Christie can speak for himself, but at this point there’s no evidence that he was part of this,” Bramnick said.

It’s also not clear whether Bridgegate will factor into this year’s Assembly races. All 80 seats are up in the lower house.

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