Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande announced yesterday that she will introduce legislation that will protect the sender of a text message from civil liability if the receiver of the text is involved in a car accident while reading the message.
Thank goodness, and let’s hope that legislation get fast tracked
In what can only be considered a gift to the overpopulated legal community, the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court last week ruled that senders of text messages could be liable for accidents that occur while the receivers are reading them “when a texter knows or has special reason to know that the intended recipient is driving and is likely to read the text message while driving, the texter has a duty to users of the public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time.”
What is a “special reason to know?” That is new legal distinction that will have to be defined in another expensive court decision, unless Casagrande’s common sense legislation is passed and signed into law before the next ambulance chaser gets his law school buddy on the bench to define it.
Imagine the cases, and legal fees, this new legal liability will create. Imagine the increases in insurance premiums, auto, homeowner’s, and business liability, this will cause.
If a spouse texts “pick milk” to his or her significant other during rush hour, and the receiving spouse gets into a car accident, the couple’s homeowner’s insurance company will get dragged into the law suit filed by the ambulance chaser.
Imagine the deposition questions asked at $250+ per hour per attorney:Art Gallagher | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Lawsuit Reform, NJ Courts, NJ Judiciary, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Caroline Casagrande, frivolous lawsuits, NJ Courts, NJ Legislature, texting, texting while driving, texting while the receiver might be driving | 2 Comments »
We visited the City of Sderot and received a briefing at a lookout point over Gaza from Captain Kobi Harush, coordinator of Security for the city. Sderot is along the Gaza Strip and is regularly under rocket attack. Most of the exploded rockets are from Hamas, but lately, with the instability in the region, more rockets are coming from places like Libya and Sudan. Seeing the remnants of these rockets that were launched into Israel was like seeing a museum of terrorist weapons.
Sderot is the closest city to Gaza. Because of the short distance these rockets are often shot from playgrounds, schools and hospitals in Gaza, knowing there won’t be a counterstrike. Since the Arab spring, these rocket attacks have increased.
My visit to the old City of Jerusalem included a visit to the Western Wall – or what is known as the Wailing Wall – a sacred site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries.
I had a very informative meeting with fellow legislators who are Members of the Knesset, the Legislative branch of the Israeli Government. The 120 members of the Knesset not only pass all laws, but elect the President and Prime Minister as well. They serve four-year terms, but it is their party that is elected and the party chooses the member. Fascinating to see the differences between Israel’s form of Democracy and that of the United States.admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Israel, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Project Interchange trip to Israel | 3 Comments »
By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
The American Jewish Council once again did an amazing job of making sure we received a broad understanding of what is going on in Israel today. On Thursday we visited Ramallah in Palestine and met with the spokesman for the Palestinian Authority negotiating team. Both Israelis and Palestinians remain hopeful of positive discussions when Secretary of State John Kerry visits next week. He has a huge challenge ahead of him with these peace talks. Everyone brings to the table thousands of years of their people’s history as well as their personal experience to the discussions.
Friday we visited Yad VaShem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum, and it was an incredibly moving experience. It is difficult to imagine how a people moves forward after 6 million are murdered, including 1.5 million children. The museum serves as a stark reminder that there is true evil in the world. The resiliency and spirit of the Jewish people is astounding.
The individual memorials also serve as a reminder to “Never Forget.” I was particularly drawn to the one for a doctor who took care of children whose parents were missing or killed. When the children were ordered to be deported to a camp he went with them, reasoning he wouldn’t leave them alone in life nor should they be alone in death. He is just one of the many heroes in the holocaust.admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, Israel, Middle East, NJ State Legislature | Tags: American Jewish Council, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Carolone Casagrande, Israel, Project Interchange trip to Israel | 4 Comments »
I feel very fortunate as a Christian to have been able to visit two of the actual sites I have heard about in Sunday sermons and read about my whole life. First I visited The Basilica of the Beatitudes, which is on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee on the traditional site of Jesus’ delivery of the Sermon on the Mount.
We were also brought to the location of the Biblical account of Jesus instructing His disciples to throw their nets over the right side of the boat and then their nets were overflowing with fish. The spot where Jesus was cooking the fish is preserved: Sacellum Primatus Sancti Petri, the Table of Christ. I also saw a boat that was recently discovered by two fishermen on the shores of the Sea of Galilee that carbon dates back to the time of Christ.admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Caroline Casagrande, Israel trip, Project Interchange | 7 Comments »
Before coming to Israel I read the book StartUp Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. It describes how Israel’s policies on immigration, research and development, and military service have lead to a tech boom here. Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than Korea, Japan, Singapore, India and all of Europe combined. We heard from the CFO of an angel investment company today, who explained Israel’s multifaceted success story. A portion of that success can be attributed to the elite tech units in Israel’s Army.
Before entering college most of the nation’s young people receive millions of dollars in training in the military where they also have access to Generals. Students call teachers by their first names here, which they say leads to a business culture that’s flat and very helpful in a start up environment. Israel has a Chief Scientist who has the responsibility of fostering research and development. There are also great incubator programs subsidized by the government that include free educational seminar speakers and workspace. A percentage of the property tax portion of the rent for tech company start-ups is forgiven.admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Caroline Casagrande, Israel, Israel trip, Project Interchange | No Comments »
By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
I am here in beautiful Israel as part of Project Interchange, a program of the American Jewish Council. Despite the worldwide travel alert, I feel very safe.
For my first seminar, we had a fascinating introduction to Israeli society and politics with Dr. Elinat Wilf, a former member of Knesset. She described Israel for us as an idea of the mind. At the end of the Seder you say, “To next year in Jerusalem.” The worldwide Jewish community decided to make that happen literally by founding Israel. It is an incredibly diverse nation of immigrants. It is a Jewish state, which can be confusing for Americans, who are used to the separation of church and state. Zionism is an idea about bringing ethnic Jews together. I found it very surprising when our speaker identified herself as a Jew who is an atheist. She said many people in Israel are non-practicing Jews religiously, but practice the culture. Israel has a very sizable minority population – approximately 20 percent Muslim and Christian.admin | Filed under: Caroline Casagrande, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Caroline Casagrande, Israel, Project Interchange | 2 Comments »
Monmouth County Legislators to Present Petitions Against JCP&L’s Rate Hike at Tomorrow’s Public Hearing in Freehold
Assemblywomen Amy Handlin and Caroline Casagrande plan to present petitions tomorrow signed by 1,500 ratepayers opposed to a proposed electricity rate hike by Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L).
“We will speak for the hundreds of ratepayers who are tired of paying more for less service,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “This proposal to take about $85 more per year from hard-working families lacks credibility because JCP&L has yet to answer very serious charges of pocketing corporate profit instead of investing in the improvements that would have made our service more reliable and our rates more tolerable.”admin | Filed under: Amy Handlin, Caroline Casagrande, Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L, Press Release, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Board of Public Utilities, BPU, JCP&L, Press Release, Rate hike | No Comments »
By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
What do Florida, New Hampshire and Washington state have in common?
They’re among nine states that not only weathered the worst economic recession of our generation, but found ways to make their economies stronger, attract new people and create jobs when the rest of the nation floundered.
From 2001 to 2010, these nine states saw employment increase by 5.4 percent when the rest of the country remained stagnant.
What do these states have in common that allows them to grow jobs during horrific economic times?
No income tax.
In New Jersey, we’re on our way to replicating the job-creating economic successes of these “prime nine” states, even though we’re still among the “maligned nine” states with the highest income taxes.
The tax-free states grew employment by 5.4 percent, while tax-heavy states saw jobs decline by 1.7 percent.
That’s why Gov. Christie is proposing to cut income taxes for everyone. It will keep money in people’s pockets and help bring back the jobs that disappeared last decade as Trenton taxed and spent the state into economic ruin.
The Wall Street Journal recently called legislative proposals in other states to cut the income tax good “long-term growth” and attempts to use additional income tax revenue to relieve property taxes “short-term politics.”
It’s not even good short-term politics. Remember what happened to Jon Corzine in 2009 when he raised income taxes? He was one of nearly 120,000 New Jerseyans who lost a job that year.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who knew something about emerging from horrific economic times, once said: “Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.”
New Jersey has repeatedly tried raising taxes to relieve property taxes. It has never worked. In fact, the income tax itself began as a way to reduce property taxes. Do you know anyone whose property taxes went down since 1976?
New Jersey lost an entire decade (and 156,000 jobs) proving you can’t lower one tax by raising another. Taxes increased by $11 billion from 2002 to 2009, and nearly every time they increased a tax, Trenton politicians promised it would relieve property taxes, yet the property tax burden increased 6 percent per year and 60 percent cumulatively from 2002 to 2010.
Remember when Trenton politicians shut down the state to raise the sales tax in 2006 to offer “historic” levels of property tax relief? It didn’t work. The higher sales tax remains, but the property tax relief was history after just one year.
We need to stop doing what doesn’t work. That’s why we ended those failed tactics and launched the most aggressive and effective assault on property taxes in New Jersey history.
We put a tight cap on property taxes, saved property taxpayers $120 billion over the next 30 years through pension and health care reform, and we are working to do more, such as ending the payout for workers’ unused sick and vacation time and allowing towns to save money by opting out of Civil Service.
Our comprehensive approach to tax reform has businesses and homeowners optimistic about our state’s future for the first time in several years.
If we continue to do what has been working, we will continue to create more private-sector jobs in addition to the 60,000 that have been added in the past two years.
Adding jobs won’t just improve our unemployment rate, but likely will achieve precisely what short-sighted critics of Gov. Chris Christie’s income tax cut say it won’t: property tax relief.
Raising other taxes has not lowered property taxes, but reducing the income tax may because it will keep forcing government to spend within its means while encouraging businesses to create jobs in New Jersey.
More businesses and jobs in our economy means a greater share of the tax burden is shifted away from property taxpayers.
Many other states have seen the wisdom of low income tax rates. They know that reducing the income tax burden creates jobs and builds a strong economic foundation. I’m eager to see New Jersey follow suit.
In the last two years, New Jersey has added more than 62,000 private-sector jobs. And our Economic Outlook Rank has improved from 48th to 45th this year, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Our plan to make New Jersey affordable and create jobs is working. We can’t stop doing what is working. We need to do more.Posted: March 9th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Caroline Casagrande, Taxes | Tags: American Legislative Exchange Council, Assemblywoman, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Caroline Casagrande, Civil Service, Florida, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Goveror Chris Christie, Income Tax, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Property Tax, Sales Tax, Taxes, Trenton, Wall Street Journal, Washington | 7 Comments »