Guv Chris Christie accepting Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider’s endorsement. Photo by Art Gallagher.
Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, a Democrat, today endorsed the all female Republican team of legislators in New Jersey’s 11th district, Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande.
“I have a worked closely with our legislators on a variety of issues,” said Schneider in a statement issued by the Republican legislators, “They always have the best interests of Long Branch in mind and have gone out of their way to help our residents. Senator Beck, Assemblywoman Angelini and Assemblywoman Casagrande manage to keep partisan politics out of the picture and focus on the issue at hand. I am proud to work with them and offer them my endorsement.”
In addition to endorsing the Republican legislators from his district, Schneider is one of over 50 Democratic elected officials who have endorsed Governor Chris Christie.
“Oh, that was nice of him,” said Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich, a Democratic candidate challenging Angelini and Casagrande, when informed of Schneider’s endorsement.
Monmouth County Democratric Chairman Vin Gopal was surprised that Schneider endorse all three Republican women representing the 11th. “He endorsed all three of them?” Gopal asked twice, “No, I have no comment.”
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Posted: October 14th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 11th Legislative District, 2013 Election, Caroline Casagrande, Ed Zipprich, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angenlini, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Adam Schneider, Caroline Casagrande, Chris Christie, Ed Zipprich, Jennifer Beck, LD 11, Long Branch, Mary Pat Angelini, Red Bank, Vin Gopal | 9 Comments »
Agency’s ruling will leave gap in Jersey Shore and hinder rebuilding
Senator Jennifer Beck today expressed outrage over FEMA’s rejection of Ocean Grove’s request for aid in the wake of Sandy. FEMA determined that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is a private non-profit organization and not eligible for public assistance dollars. In a letter sent to FEMA earlier in January from Beck and other legislators, the lawmakers made it clear that the boardwalk in Ocean Grove has received funding from FEMA and the Army Corp. of Engineers in the past.
“FEMA’s Decision today is not only disappointing, but it is unacceptable,” Beck said. “The Ocean Grove Boardwalk serves as an essential public thoroughfare and connects Bradley Beach to Asbury Park. It provides access to emergency services and augments flood protection measures. We will be appealing this ruling immediately.”
In the letter sent to FEMA officials on January 30th states that the Ocean Grove boardwalk has been recognized as public property and dedicated as a public roadway since at least 1908 when a Monmouth County court ruling exempted it from taxation because of the boardwalk’s previous designation as a “public highway.” The boardwalk, which provides access to communities both north and south of Ocean Grove, has also been clearly recognized in court rulings as a public facility.
“Today’s decision is destructive to the economy of Ocean Grove and will have long lasting negative impacts on the community,” Beck explained. “To reject Ocean Grove’s request for assistance will leave them unable to rebuild this historic boardwalk and create a gap on New Jersey’s shoreline. I am hopeful that in our appeal those making these decisions will see the long term implications of this decision and realize that not only is the Ocean Grove Boardwalk a public property but it is essential to both the safety and commerce of Ocean Grove and surrounding towns.”
Posted: February 7th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, Press Release | Tags: FEMA, Jennifer Beck, Ocean Grove, Senator Jennifer Beck | 31 Comments »
NJ’s first all female ticket announces 2013 run
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande announced their bids for re-election to the New Jersey legislature. The three legislators represent the 11th Legislative District in Monmouth County.
“I am very proud and excited to start another campaign season,” said Beck, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2005 and moved to the Senate in 2007. “We have an incredible ticket and I am honored to serve with these women. In the past two years New Jersey has seen some amazing and historic reforms, but our job is not done. I hope the voters in the 11th District will choose to send us back to Trenton in 2014 to continue what we started.”
Beck, Angelini and Casagrande were first elected as a ticket to the 11th District in 2011. Beck, a former Red Bank Councilwoman, currently sits on the Senate Budget Committee, Casagrande, an attorney, sits on the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Angelini, the Executive Director of Prevention First, serves as the Deputy Conference Leader and sits on the Health and Senior Services Committee.
“Under the direction of Governor Chris Christie we have made great progress in reducing the cost of government which has made our state increasingly unaffordable,” Angelini said. “I look forward to going back to Trenton to continue fighting to improve our economy, reduce spending and cut taxes”
Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angenlini, Monmouth County, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Caroline Casagrande, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angelini, NJ 11th Legislative Distrtict, Press Release | 4 Comments »
“All three of us have had a tremendous four years following Governor Christie’s leadership and delivering results to the people of Monmouth County. But our work is far from over,” explained Casagrande. “I am proud to declare my candidacy for re-election to the 11th District Assembly. It is my hope that the people will honor me with the opportunity to keep moving New Jersey forward.”
NEW BILL WOULD HOLD INSURERS ACCOUNTABLE TO NJ STANDARDS
Senator Jennifer Beck has introduced legislation that clarifies the Department of Banking Insurance’s jurisdiction over the processing of certain flood insurance claims. The bill specifies that though flood insurance is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) the actual claims process must adhere to New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) laws and regulations. In most cases in New Jersey, the NFIP flood insurance itself is purchased from New Jersey-based private insurance companies who participate in FEMA’s “Write Your Own” program. Additionally, those same New Jersey-based insurers are often administering the claims.
“In the wake of Sandy, we have been deluged with complaints about unresponsive and misleading flood insurance representatives” Beck explained. “While the NFIP is a federal program, I want to clarify that licensed New Jersey flood insurance companies must still comply with our consumer protection laws when processing our residents’ flood claims. This is the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance jurisdiction and they must be able to protect our residents from bad actors.”
Senate Bill 2505 extends DOBI’s current authority to investigate and punish insurers who engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair and deceptive acts. The bill applies to specifically to New Jersey licensed insurers that process flood insurance claims under FEMA’s “Write Your Own” flood insurance program.
“Thousands of NJ residents have lost their homes and belongings and rebuilding cannot be stalled by flood insurers dragging their feet on legitimate claims. Our residents are desperate to move forward with recovery efforts and time after time I am hearing that flood insurers are the obstacle,” said Beck. “This legislation gives New Jersey’s DOBI enforcement power over the flood claims process in this State. Once passed, DOBI’s Division of Insurance will enforce all New Jersey law, regulations and policies and have the legal authority to protect our residents from insurers that are non-complaint.”
Posted: January 23rd, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: FEMA, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, NJ State Legislature, Press Release | Tags: DOBI, FEMA, Insurance claim, NFIP, NJ Dept of Banking and Insurance, S 2505, Senator Jennifer Beck | 1 Comment »
By Art Gallagher
Monmouth Democrats are expecting a contested convention race for the nominations for Assembly in the 11th Legislative District.
Three of the five members of the Neptune Township Committee, Dr. Michael Brantley, J. Randy Bishop, and Kevin B. McMillian have expressed their interest in competing for the nominations for the two seats, according to a Democrat who asked not to be named because he/she was talking to a Republican blogger. Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich will also seek a nomination, according to PoltickerNJ.
Republicans Mary Pat Angelini of Ocean Township and Caroline Casagrande of Colts Neck currently represent the district in Assembly.
The district is comprised of the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, West Long Branch .
Monmouth Demcratic Chairman Vin Gopal will probably have to do some arm twisting to come up with a candidate to challenge Senator Jennifer Beck of Red Bank, according to the source. The Republican Beck is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. She is very popular with Democrats in the district. No one is currently interested in challenging her.
Posted: January 22nd, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angenlini, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Caroline Casagrande, Dr. Michael Brantley, Ed Zipprich, Jennifer Beck, Kevin McMillan, Mary Pat Angelini, nj legislative district 11, Randy Bishop, Vin Gopal | 10 Comments »
Trenton— Legislation long-championed by Senator Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D- Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) to prevent abuse of the state’s farmland assessment law has cleared the final hurdle to passage by the full Senate. The Legislation, S-589, was approved the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“The current threshold of $500 in agricultural sales set forth in New Jersey’s farmland assessment law has not been increased since its inception and is easily abused,” said Beck. “This bill modernizes the law to better ensure that only those who actively work the land receive the 98% property tax break on their property.”
“Clearly this program is being taken advantage of and it’s the taxpayers who ultimately lose the most. It’s long past time we update the farmland assessment law. This protects both real farmers and the taxpayers of New Jersey, ” said Sweeney.
The bill would boost the threshold of sales derived from farming activity to $1000 per year from the current $500, and provide for a review of the sales threshold every three years. This number was selected based on a 2007 study by Rutgers which calculated how many farms would be disqualified at minimum revenue qualifications of $1000, $2500 and $10, 000. A $10, 000 was estimated to take 398, 093 of New Jersey`s approximately 982, 000 acres of farmland off the preservation rolls.
The legislation also would require program applicants to submit evidence of agricultural sales and/or income to the Department of Agriculture, and require tax assessors to undergo training in farmland assessment as a condition of licensure. Most importantly, the State Division of Taxation and State Board of Agriculture would issue guidelines to tax assessors to aid them in defining legitimate farming activity.
Abusers of the program would face a $5000 fine, in addition to restitution of all taxes inappropriately avoided on property fraudulently claimed under the assessment exemption and other penalties.
“There is something wrong when an individual can sell three cords of firewood to himself and claim the same tax break as farmers producing legitimate agricultural output,” Beck continued. “The abuse of this program is well documented in the press and by the State Auditor and needs to end.”
Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Jennifer Beck, NJ State Legislature, Press Release, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: Fake Farms, Press Release, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Jennifer Beck | 11 Comments »
The bill, S589, that Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate President Steve Sweeney have sponsored to address New Jersey’s “Fake Farms” will not close any fake farms and will not increase property tax revenues. It will create new bureaucracy on the state, county and municipal levels of government. It will increase the costs of municipalities evaluating what is a farm and what is not a farm.
New Jersey’s farmland assessment law dates back to 1964. It provides that properties of 5 acres that generate revenue and payments of $500 from crops or livestock be assessed as farms for property tax purposes. Properties over 5 acres must produce $5 per acre to qualify under the proposed law. $.50 per acre for wetlands. Dogs are excluded as livestock, President Obama’s childhood dietary habits notwithstanding.
S589, let’s call it “Karcher’s Law,” would increase the minimum level of revenue a “farm” must produce to $1000.
Beck used former Senator Ellen Karcher’s use of the farmland assessment law as a major issue in her 2007 campaign to replace Karcher in the Senate. Karcher classifies 6 acres of her 9 acre Marlboro home as a Christmas tree farm, saving $14,000 in property taxes.
I can see the campaign literature now. “We ended fake farms by doubling the required production of these so called farms.” Gullible homeowners will nod and be grateful that their property taxes increased only 3% while the lawyers, lobbyists, rock stars and politicians who avoid tens of thousands in property taxes send in their campaign contributions.
Products that cost $500 in 1964 would cost $3,711.05 today. 500 of today’s dollars would have bought you $67.37 of merchandise in 1964.
Clearly, increasing the required revenue generated from a “farm” from $500 to $1000 will not end the abuse. Increasing the required revenue to the inflation adjusted $3,711.05 will not end it either.
There is a provision in the proposed law that creates a State Farmland Evaluation Advisory Committee comprised of the Director of the Division of Taxation, the Dean of Rutgers College of Agriculture and the Secretary of Agriculture. The committee will conduct periodic reviews of the minimum farm revenue and payment requirements. Maybe Sweeney and Beck are counting on the bureaucrats to come up with an equitable solution to the problem. Not likely, but we can’t say for sure as neither Senator returned a call asking for an explanation of the bill.
There is another provision of the proposed bill that eliminates the “roll back tax” for fake farms that are declassified. Under the current farmland assessment law, properties that are declassified as farms are subject to retroactive property taxes at a fair market valuation for a number of years. The proposed law would only tax declassified farms at fair market value going forward, so long as the property owner continues their fake farming. Maybe this is the real intended teeth of the proposed bill. We’ll ask Beck or Sweeney if either of them calls back.
S589 was passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Thursday and sent to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hopefully the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee, of which Beck is a member, will amend the bill so that it really does eliminate the practice of middle class homeowners subsidizing hobby farms of wealthy and connected landowners.
Posted: May 19th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Jennifer Beck, Property Taxes, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: Ellen Karcher, Fake Farms, Farmland Assessment, Funny Farms, Jennifer Beck, Karcher's Law, Property Taxes, S589, Steve Sweeney | 8 Comments »
Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini Endorse Cullari in CD-6 Primary
In an interview with Politickernj, the Monmouth County GOP nominee in the primary for the 6th Congressional District, Ernesto Cullari, said that Anna Little, the 2010 GOP nominee in the 6th district and his primary opponent this year, was focused on herself and not the task at hand, defeating Congressman Frank Pallone, during the 2010 general election,
“What I saw was a candidate unwilling to go after (incumbent U.S. Rep. Frank) Pallone – like the fact that he got his wife a job at the EPA where she works while most people suffer an economic downturn,” Cullari said. “Frank Pallone and a slew of other leaders have been looking out for just themselves. I’ll make that case. I’m not ashamed to make it.
“What I witnessed in Anna was someone deeply focused on herself instead of the task at hand – namely advancing the small government ideology,” he added. “She missed that opportunity.”
Cullari went on to define himself as the true Tea Party conservative in the primary,
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Posted: May 16th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, Anna Little, Congress, Elections, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angenlini, Middlesex County Republicans, Monmouth County Republican Committee, Monmouth GOP | Tags: Anna Little, CD 6, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Pallone, Jennifer Beck, Mary Pat Angelini, NJ-6 | 17 Comments »
Red Bank— Saying that New Jersey Natural Gas officials are being uncooperative with local officials, Senator Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth) held a press conference with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Rivercenter Executive Director Nancy Adams to demand NJNG work cooperatively with local officials toward a solution in vetting alternatives to the utility’s planned regulator replacement program.
NJNG plans on replacing 88 natural gas pressure regulators currently located below highly trafficked sidewalks on Front, Broad, and Monmouth Streets, bringing the devices above ground. The company has refused to release details of its decision making process and any alternative locations for the regulators that were considered, despite requests from the Senator and Red Bank officials.
“NJNG is being unresponsive and heavy handed with the Borough of Red Bank,” Beck said. “They have admitted that there are alternatives to the current plan, but will not discuss what those options are or why they were not chosen. You don’t see these devices placed as prominently, or in as great a number, very often in the downtown district of a busy municipality. Why is this solution the only one that works for Red Bank?”
“Let me be clear, safety should be our first priority,” Beck continued. “However, that does not excuse NJNG’s refusal to explain their decision making process.”
Beck and Mayor Menna have written to state Board of Public Utilities Officials asking for their support in delaying the project until an acceptable remedy can be agreed to by all parties and NJNG releases their internal study on alternatives.
“If it is really necessary to disrupt our downtown business district like this, then we need to understand why,” said Mayor Menna. “And if there were alternatives that could have been pursued but were not, we need to understand the reasoning. We should not have to beg to get NJNG officials to be forthcoming with us.”
Red Bank RiverCenter’s Executive Director, Nancy Adams, also expressed concern over the lack of cooperation by company officials. RiverCenter is a non-profit partnership dedicated to promoting revitalization of Red Bank’s downtown business district.
“We have been successful in promoting Red Bank as a destination for businesses, merchants, restaurants, and night life because elected officials, volunteers, and the business community worked together,” Adams stated. “We need NJNG to work with us too.”
Senator Beck said that she will submit legislation at the Senate’s March 15, 2012 voting session that would direct the BPU to require gas utilities planning regulator replacement projects to study less disruptive locations for the devices. The bill also requires the gas utility make public the findings of the study, and to return any disrupted property and infrastructure to its original condition.
“If NJNG refuses to be a good corporate citizen and come to the table, then we must act through the legislative process to force them to consider the needs of this community and others that may find themselves in similar situations,” Beck said. “If there is a more palatable alternative that will provide the same public safety protections, it ought to be presented as an option to local officials.”
Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Jennifer Beck, Press Release, Red Bank | Tags: Board of Public Utilities, BPU, Jen Beck, Jennifer Beck, Mayor Pasquale Menna, Nancy Adams, New Jersey Natural Gas, NJNJ, Pat Menna, Red Bank, Red Bank Regulator Replacement, Red Bank Rivercenter, Rivercenter, Senator Jennifer Beck | 1 Comment »