Sunset Provisions: Keeping Laws Relevant

rich20photoBy Gary Rich, Sr, Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director

Late last month, Governor Christie signed into law Assembly bill 3424, which extended the two percent cap on binding interest arbitration awards. I was present when Governor Christie inked his name to this bill, extending the cap through December 31, 2017.

The law which originally set the two percent cap was enacted back in 2010 when the Governor joined with legislative leaders to implement these important reforms to a segment of the government system that desperately needed revamping. Historically, it was a system that had often run amok, awarding benefits to the public unions in question without regard for the town or county’s ability to pay for such benefits.

The 2010 law was historic and vital—and temporary. The original law included a Sunset clause, which allowed the law and its terms to expire as of April 1, 2014 if no action was taken by the legislature to extend it.

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Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gary Rich, Monmouth County, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Opinion: Governor Christie was right to veto gun magazine bill

By Scott St. Clair

Scott St. Clair1Gov. Christie was absolutely correct in vetoing the Legislature’s magazine-limit bill, despite Sandy Hook-parent Hugo Rojas’ protestations to the contrary. The bill was not only trivial, but it was cynical to boot since it did nothing but regurgitate the long-standing agenda of gun control advocates in New Jersey without addressing what really was at the heart of the Newtown, CT tragedy: defenseless children and teachers left at the mercy of a deranged individual who should have been locked up.

If you want to solve problems, the first key is correctly identifying them, not trotting out tired, politically correct memes that pander to sentimentality. It’s obvious that a big problem at Sandy Hook – a problem lawmakers in New Jersey ignore and perpetuate today – is defenseless schools.

Another problem is the hands-off attitude taken by local and state officials and law enforcement against mentally ill people who, like Adam Lanza, have a long, documented and scary track record of violent behavior yet are allowed to walk the streets.

Ignoring the real problems in favor of political pandering is what the Legislature did with the magazine-limit bill. Gov. Christie was right to veto it, and Mr. Rojas’ is mistaken in his criticism.

 

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gun Control, Gun Rights, Guns, Opinion, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

More Regulations for NJ Businesses

By Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

Joe Schilp

This past week, the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly both passed the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” which prohibits businesses with more than 14 employees from asking applicants to check a box to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime.  Additionally, businesses would be prohibited from asking first-time interviewees if they’ve been convicted of a crime.

It has been reported that NJ Governor Chris Christie’s office worked with the legislators on the language of the bill; thus, Christie is expected to sign the bill into law.

New Jersey is already one of the least business-friendly states in the United States.  According to the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index, NJ was the 2nd least business-friendly state – based on over 100 criteria – and ranked at the bottom in income taxes, corporate taxes, sales tax and property tax.  And this ranking does not account for the Democrat-controlled legislature’s zeal to increase the “millionaire’s tax” that affects far more people making less than a million dollars a year than people making more than that.

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Posted: June 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Economy, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Kyrillos: “Millionaires Tax” hurts the poor and middle class

By Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.

Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.

Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.

Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.

As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.

It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.

The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”

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Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »

In GOP U.S. Senate Primary: Write-in Joe Kyrillos

By Art Gallagher

Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Mayor Fred Rast greeting voters in Atlantic Highlands last year. photo by Art Gallagher

Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Mayor Fred Rast greeting voters in Atlantic Highlands last year. photo by Art Gallagher

Several MMM readers have asked  me to endorse of a U.S. Senate candidate to take on Senator Cory Booker.  I can’t endorse, or vote for, any of the four candidates who are on the ballot this Tuesday.

I’m writing in Joe Kyrillos on Tuesday. If this post goes viral, Joe Kryillos could be the U.S. Senate Republican nominee on Tuesday night.  That’s how bad the U.S. Senate primary campaign has been.  Booker would then have a fight on his hands.  Share this post.

None of the four candidates on the ballot can make Booker break a sweat this fall.

None of the candidates on the ballot have raised enough money for a county freeholder race, never mind a statewide race for U.S. Senate.  Booker has spent over $12 million on his re-election bid since the first of the year. He had $2.9 million in cash on hand as of May 14.

State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in 2012, has refunded more money to his federal donors this year that any of the current Republican candidates have raised.

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Posted: June 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, Joe Kyrillos, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Opinion: Christie’s Available Options Have Gone From Bad to Worse

Opinion: Christie’s Available Options Have Gone From Bad to Worse (via NJSpotlight)

Being governor is all about having options, settling on a course of action, marshaling legislative and public support, and then implementing it smoothly and effectively. From time to time, though, issues arise for which none of the available options…

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Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Cory Booker finally speaks out on critical issue facing the nation–his March Madness bracket picks

By Scott St. Clair

Scott St. Clair1How special that The Star-Ledger has all the time in the world to grill Sen. Cory Booker on his NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket picks and hold him accountable for his “gut thing” upset prediction of Stephen F. Austin over VCU. After all, didn’t New Jersey voters elect him to waste his time and their money this way?

Booker thinks his job consists of sending out marginally obscene Twitter messages, regaling Senate colleagues with how he drove to Hawaii and now gracing us with his round ball wisdom.

Maybe he’s bucking to win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion prize for the perfect March Madness bracket? Hope he wins – and then retires.

On issues facing the nation, he’s MIA. War or peace, Ukraine, excessive federal spending, the National Debt, the mass exodus of people from New Jersey because the place is too damned burdened with taxes to be affordable – where is he?

And how about answering questions that stem from the state comptroller’s scathing report on rampant corruption under his nose and on his watch while he was mayor of Newark? When will The Star-Ledger find time to grill him on that?

On them all he’s nowhere, that’s where. Care to ask him?

Scott St. Clair is the Communications Director for Murray Sabrin for U.S. Senate 2014

Posted: March 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Opinion | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Hornik: COAH funds should be used to help Sandy Victims

By Mayor Jonathan Hornik, Marlboro Township

Jon Hornik2Forgotten among the latest round of finger-pointing and investigations regarding the use of Superstorm Sandy funds are displaced low and moderate-income homeowners and renters who need help. This immediate and pressing need, combined with resources available from communities like Marlboro Township, in the form of affordable housing trust funds, present a unique opportunity for regional cooperation. Now all we need is some action in Trenton.

The funds, collected from developer fees, now totaling at least $180 million state-wide (and which the State has been trying to take for its own budget problems), are to be used to meet the need for affordable housing under the Supreme Court’s Mt. Laurel rulings. Those cases decreed that every town has an obligation to provide for its region’s need for affordable housing. We have long argued that the doctrine should be meaningfully applied – let’s build the housing where the need is the greatest.

Yet to this day the planners in Trenton wrangle over rules to determine how towns must address their affordable housing, going on 15 years now, when it should be painfully obvious that the need for our community (and our region) is staring us in the face. Current state laws prohibit Marlboro from helping those communities who are in desperate need for housing assistance after Sandy.  There is no mechanism for Marlboro to spend its trust funds for the benefit of, for example, Union Beach or the Highlands, because there are no rules that allow us to do so. We can’t fulfill a fundamental tenet of Mt. Laurel, and help our neighbors because the authority to do so isn’t there. And why not?

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Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Housing, Marlboro, Opinion, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Middletown Resident Opposes Trinity Hall School Development

By Christopher R. Whalen, CPA

I am writing to express my many concerns regarding the Trinity Hall Development.Trinity Hall

Trinity Hall is a commercial enterprise and will bring to our neighborhood all of the communal, societal and environmental harm that such enterprises do.

Let’s project out some of the many terrible impacts this will have on our neighborhood.

The Trinity Hall Development will increase the volume of:

School buses and other school vehicles

Student cars and

Parent drop off vehicles

Evening noise and light pollution.

Daily noise and pollution from the school’s physical plant.

and

Possibly necessitate:

  1. the widening of parts of Chapel Hill to install shoulders, the land for which will be taken from existing landowners on Chapel Hill Road using Eminent Domain Laws.
  2. the installation of traffic lights at the intersections of  Chapel Hill and Kings Highway, and Sleepy Hollow and Chapel Hill AND
    1. Definitely at the school’s main entrance on Chapel Hill itself.

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Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Middletown, Opinion | Tags: , , | 13 Comments »

Lonegan Should Challenge Pallone

Lonegan PC presserSteve Lonegan is not going to win the GOP nomination to replace the retiring Congressman Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s third congressional district.

The party bosses in Ocean and Burlington Counties that comprise the district have settled on endorsing former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur.  Ocean County Republicans with the stones to defy Chairman George Gilmore are lining up behind Toms  River Councilman Maurice Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral.  If Lonegan continues to compete for the nomination in the party conventions, he’s likely to come in third in Ocean and second in Burlington.  Lonegan does not have an organization to compete with the Ocean and Burlington Republican organization should he run a primary race against MacArthur.

Lonegan should stop fighting fellow Republicans in Ocean and Burlington and come north to Monmouth and Middlesex where we need his considerable talent.  If Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett and Middlesex GOP Chairman Sam Thompson have not been on the phone pleading with Lonegan to take on ObamaCare author Frank Pallone in the 6th Congressional district, they are missing an opportunity.

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Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Frank Pallone, Opinion, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »