O’Scanlon: We MUST move forward on pension and budget reform

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.

The reason we couldn’t make a payment larger than the $1.3 billion one included in the Governor’s budget has nothing to do with a lack of will or integrity.  It’s about devoting as much $ as possible without inflicting massive, economy-killing, tax increases on an economy just now showing signs of real growth.  Without economic growth there will be no chance we will be able to meet our commitments to the system in the many years to come – so ensuring growth is as important to public workers as anyone else.  We don’t simply have a $1.8 billion deficit this year. We have a $6 to $7 billion hole over the next few years. Taxing the life out of our economy this year, with no plan going forward – and leaving us in a $2 billion hole next year as the Democrat’s proposed budget would – is bad policy, for all New Jerseyans.

But it is true as well that we can’t foster growth to the exclusion of our obligation to our dedicated public workers.  And I can’t state that point vehemently enough.  Our teachers and other public workers are decent, devoted, professional people.  Generalizations to the contrary are without merit.

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Posted: July 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Legislative Races, Declan O'Scanlon, Economy, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

N.J. leads nation in all-cash home purchases, report finds

Nearly half of the homes sold in New Jersey in May went to buyers who paid all cash, according to a new report, giving the state the largest share of those types of purchases in the country. The report released on Thursday morning by the Irvine, Calif-based housing research firm RealtyTrac shows 48 percent of single-family… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

N.J.’s economic growth ranks near bottom in U.S.

assetContent (2)Economic activity in New Jersey ticked up only slightly in 2014, new federal data released on Wednesday morning shows, and the state’s growth ranked near the bottom nationwide. The gross domestic product in nearly every state increased in 2014, with New Jersey posting an uptick of 0.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey | Tags: , | Comments Off on N.J.’s economic growth ranks near bottom in U.S.

3 things to expect from Christie’s national economic plan today

Photo by Paul Scharff

Photo by Paul Scharff

MANCHESTER — Gov. Chris Christie will deliver his second policy speech here in the lead up to a likely 2016 presidential campaign. The governor is scheduled to layout his plan for economic growth in the country during a speech at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester. The speech will come after Christie penned an op-ed… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 12th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Economy | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on 3 things to expect from Christie’s national economic plan today

Senate president: Come home, Chris Christie. N.J. needs you

IMG_3507TRENTON — Senate President Stephen Sweeney has a message for Gov. Chris Christie: Log off Twitter, come home and work to fix the state’s economy. “He actually needs to be back here meeting with the legislative leadership. He needs to be back here with a plan on what we’re going to do to fix this place,”… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Economy, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

N.J. credit rating cut record ninth time as Moody’s cites pension shortfall

IMG_5189TRENTON — Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded New Jersey’s debt rating, dealing the Garden State its record ninth ratings cut since Gov. Chris Christie took office. The ratings drop by one notch, from A1 to A2, on $32.2 billion worth of bonds underscores the state’s “weak financial position and large structural imbalance, primarily related to continued… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Economy, Moodys, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thousands of jobs lost in N.J. in March, including losses in the trades

assetContent (73)New Jersey shed 6,400 jobs in March, according to new federal data, with the biggest losses posted in trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services. The state’s unemployment rate ticked up last month as well, increasing to 6.5 percent, the preliminary data released by the state labor department on Thursday shows. That’s up from… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Thousands of jobs lost in N.J. in March, including losses in the trades

Forever unemployed: Why N.J.’s long-term jobless rate remains among highest in U.S.

17417223-mmmainAlain Chahine lost his job two years ago. Since then, he said, he has completed more than 600 applications and sent 200 messages to his network looking for leads. Those efforts produced 18 interviews in 2013, 35 more in 2014 and 12 so far this year, Chahine said. But the number of full-time job offers to… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Forever unemployed: Why N.J.’s long-term jobless rate remains among highest in U.S.

Demand pushing Jersey Shore rental prices higher as peak weeks sell out

assetContentBeachgoers hoping to spend a week at Gary Hunsinger’s home on Philadelphia Avenue in Lavallette this summer are out of luck: the Jersey Shore property advertised online as just 100 yards from the beach has been booked solid from the first Saturday in June through the end of August. Hunsinger, of Westfield, said he had 10… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, Jersey Shore, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Demand pushing Jersey Shore rental prices higher as peak weeks sell out

Christie tells N.J. business leaders he will work to make state more affordable

WASHINGTON — Gov. Chris Christie drew a fresh line against raising new taxes in a speech tonight to New Jersey’s business community. “As long as I’m here, we’re not going to make the state less affordable,” Christie said in delivering the keynote address at the 78th annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce congressional dinner, part of… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Economy, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »