Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Budget Officer in the Assembly and a representative of northern Monmouth County in the lower house of the legislature has taken some criticism here in the MMM comments and on facebook for not voting on the Transportation Trust Fund bill that was sprung on the Assembly by Speaker Vincent Prieto and Governor Chris Christie in the middle of the night on June 30. The bill, which would have increased the gas tax by $.23 per gallon and lowered the state sales tax from 7% to 6% passed in the Assembly and was never voted on by the Senate.
Now almost six weeks later with the TTF still not renewed and road projects stalled throughout the state, O’Scanlon said that he believes “even more strongly that my decision was exactly the right one.”
O’Scanlon issued the following statement to MMM to explain his decision not to vote on the Assembly TTF bill:
New Jersey voters will not get to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring specific payments to the underfunded public employee pension system in November. Despite, or perhaps because of, the NJEA’s threat to withhold campaign contributions to Democrats unless the state Senate voted to put the measure on the ballot, Senate President Steve Sweeney did not post the resolution for a vote and the deadline to make the ballot passed yesterday.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Budget Officer in the lower house and a representative of the 13th legislative district (northern Monmouth County) issued the following statement regarding New Jersey’s ongoing fiscal crisis:
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Assembly Budget Officer, said today that no New Jersey legislator can responsibly vote on a bill to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) if a constitutional amendment requiring the state to make specified annual payments to state employees pensions funds is on the ballot this November.
“No legislator from either party can cast a responsible vote on any TTF plan until we know if the disastrously flawed Democrat constitutional amendment will be on the ballot. If the Senate Democrats irresponsibly vote to place the amendment on the ballot they are voting to put any TTF decision off until after November – at least.
O’Scanlon said that the constitutional amendment proposed by the Democratic majority has three fatal flaws:
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) outlines his plan to shore up New Jersey’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system during a news conference held in the State House yesterday. Democratic leaders want the voters to decide this fall whether the state should make a series of hefty contributions to the underfunded public-employee pension system. But Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon… Read the rest of this entry »
“Women’s Healthcare Options Open, Available and Accessible”
Photo Credit: Dave Lewis, LewisArtandPhoto.com
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called out his colleague, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D- Newark) for continuing to perpetrate the myth that New Jersey short changes funding for women’s healthcare.
“I count at least seven line items where we put money to women’s healthcare, including $135 million for family health services to provide prenatal and perinatal care for expectant mothers and their children,” said O’Scanlon. “The results of the Republican investment in women’s healthcare speak for themselves. New Jersey is in the top five States with the lowest STD rates in the country. Other states look to New Jersey as a model for STD prevention.” O’Scanlon also pointed out that the Democrats have failed to provide any additional funding for Family Planning Services in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget they passed last June.”
One tragic thing occurred and one tragic fact was laid bare as a result of the the Princeton professor’s arrest and subsequent saga that ended yesterday with her quietly paying her fines. She both succeeded in cheapening future legitimate charges of racism, and highlighting the deterioration of societies opinion of our cops. Specifically she attempted to ameliorate her humiliation not through accountability but by blatantly fabricating mistreatment by police officers – while invoking the charge of racial motivation. Both the dishonest act itself, and the ease with which the charge might have been accepted as legitimate – had there not been incontrovertible evidence proving otherwise – are tragic. Read the rest of this entry »
“It is tragic that the best advice one might give an addict begging for treatment is to get arrested.”
By Declan O’Scanlon
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon
There are many issues and challenges we face as a society that are ripe for spirited political debate. Addiction isn’t one of them. Governor Christie’s position that we must treat addiction as something other than a crime is exactly correct. Addiction – whether you buy the disease designation or not – is for some people a virtually irresistible, destructive force that compels the addict’s cooperation in his own destruction. That concept can be a difficult one to reconcile for those who have had the good fortune not to have battled addiction – their own or a family member’s. Unfortunately, that pool of lucky people is dwindling as the heroin epidemic continues to voraciously march through our streets and schools. Alcohol, while not the substance of the moment, continues its incessant march.
There is room for debate about exactly what addiction is. Cancer is unquestionably a disease – seeming to have a mind of its own and an unrelenting mission no matter the intentions or actions of its victims. Addiction, in many ways, is much more complicated. It is a condition whose progression depends on the direct, intentional participation of the afflicted. The fact that the addicted are complicit in their own destruction is both frustrating and confusing for all involved. It is easy for caregivers and loved ones to be sympathetic to cancer victims. Addiction is as likely to elicit anger, blame and scorn as sympathy.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (center-right) presents a check to the “Positively Marlboro” GOP candidates, Sui Allex for Council, Ira Goldberg for Mayor and Council candidate John Dwyer, far right, as campaign treasurer Mario Giudice licks his lips in anticipation in the background photo bomb.
Republican activists and leaders from throughout Monmouth County and beyond gathered with the Marlboro Party faithful last night at the Bella Vista Country Club, providing the “Positively Marlboro” GOP slate of Ira Goldberg for Mayor and Council Candidates Sui Allex and John Dwyer with a boost of enthusiasm and campaign cash for their uphill battle to unseat Democratic Mayor Jon Hornik and his “Right Team” slate of incumbent council members Randi Marder and Mike Scalea.
“Two hours ago I was in the Governor’s backyard,” Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, the headliner of the event, said as he started his remarks. “Where are you going?,” Bramnick said the Governor wanted to know as he prepared to leave.” “Marlboro.” “Why?” “Because Selika Josiah Gore (Chair of the Marlboro GOP) called me an wouldn’t get off the line until I agreed.”
“This is the most energetic Republican event I have seen this season,” Bramnick said during his remarks and announced that he would write a check to the campaign from his own account on the spot.
FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon announced important reforms in how Monmouth County voters can apply for Vote By Mail ballots with the County Clerk and how the Board of Elections can receive voted ballots from voters.
The reforms are effective immediately under a new law signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 10, 2015.
“The new law impacts New Jersey voters who, by necessity or by choice, have another individual submit a Vote By Mail request and/or election ballot on their behalf,” Hanlon said.
The new law reduces number of voters for whom a person can serve as “messenger” from 10 to three.
It also limits the number of voted mail-in ballots transmittable by a “bearer” to the County Board of Elections to three ballots.
Last year, the New Jersey legislature voted on a measure that prohibited the infliction of “sexual orientation reparative therapy” on young individuals of our state. This is the frequently torturous “treatment” designed to turn the gay straight. Although I abstained on the vote because of a potential technical issue, I vocally supported the initiative. Recently, the debate on this issue has re-emerged as several high-profile national and local Republicans have discussed both this issue and homosexuality. Their words demand comment.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, taking issue with policies prohibiting this “treatment,” justified his position last year by suggesting that homosexuality was simply a destructive lifestyle choice, which he went on to say was just like alcoholism. Perry managed to insult and infuriate the entire gay community along with every member of every family who has ever dealt with addiction issues – all at once. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested that being gay was a choice – as evidenced by supposed prison conversions. The most recent commentary came from Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th District), who expressed a refusal to support gay candidates and said the Republican Party shouldn’t either.
These men each have a long list of substantial accomplishments and I bet I agree with them on most policy issues. But on the issues of homosexuality and addiction each of them has demonstrated a stunning level of closed-minded ignorance that – notwithstanding their apparent inability to genuinely embrace reality – most people of average intelligence would instinctively know to try to conceal.