Asbury Park Press – Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande, both R-Monmouth, say they’re frustrated by a Democratic-controlled Legislature and its ties to special-interest groups that prevent reform. ‘Both’ spoke Monday with the Asbury Park Press editorial board. The discussion centered on hot-button issues such as school funding, gun control and consolidating town and school services.
One of the biggest issues in District 11 is school funding in Freehold Borough. The district’s classrooms are overcrowded, and residents say they can’t shoulder the burden of paying for the student spike alone. “The children (in Freehold) are grossly under adequacy,” said Casagrande. She called it “maddening” that 31 urban districts, formerly known as Abbott districts, absorb 60 percent of all school funding. “Our school dollars are still fully locked up in who was impoverished in 1986; leadership in both the Senate and Assembly have blocked reforms to redistribute those funds. It’s such an injustice.”
Angelini supported drawing a strong link between mental health and gun ownership. She also expressed frustration that one of her bills to give priority in firearm applications to those who are victims of domestic abuse had gone nowhere.
“This is good policy, good legislation, and we can’t get any traction,” she said.