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Sweeney Forges Ahead with State Tax Policy Review, No Input from Murphy Team

Senate President Steve Sweeney. file photo by Art Gallagher

Sens. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex), left, and Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) have been named to the group that will review NJ’s tax and fiscal policies. Major changes to the federal tax code recently enacted in Washington, D.C. may have significant and unexpected impact on the state economy, according to state lawmakers – particularly in a high-cost place like… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 21st, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Egos, revenge & secret deals: The inside story of The Jersey Shutdown, 2017

(Editor’s note: This story was reported and written by Matt Arco, Brent Johnson, and Susan K. Livio of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com.) TRENTON — When Gov. Chris Christie signed the final state budget of his career shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday, it ended the most contentious political drama New Jersey has seen in more than… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Guadagno offers shutdown compromise

Lt Governor Kim Guadagno. Photo credit: Tim Larsen/Governor’s office

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today called on Governor Chris Christie, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney to set aside the Horizon bill that is causing the deadlock in Trenton and instead take up a bill sponsored by Assembly Members Declan O’Scanlon and Nancy Muñoz that freezes existing government employee unused sick time payouts at the amounts already accumulated while eliminatinating the practice of lump sum payouts for unused sick time for new employees.

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Posted: July 2nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Sweeney again says state government could shut down without a deal on school funding

TRENTON — Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Monday said he plans to meet with Gov. Chris Christie this week on the state budget — a negotiating session that could deliver a small dose of school reform or a messy government shutdown. If Christie won’t play ball on a school funding deal Democratic leaders reached last week,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie makes Gas Tax increase deal with Sweeney and Prieto

file photo

file photo

Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto announced a deal to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund with a $.23 per gallon gas tax increase this afternoon in Trenton.

In a press release from his office, Christie touted off setting tax decreases in the deal–“tax fairness”– which he said will more than compensate for the gas tax increase.

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Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

O’Scanlon: “Without reforms, New Jersey faces a bleak fiscal future”

DeclanNew 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:

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Posted: August 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Christie conditionally vetoes Sandy ‘Bill of Rights’

Christie conditionally vetoes Sandy ‘Bill of Rights’ (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie today stripped down a bill drafted in response to concerns about how well the state has distributed federal Hurricane Sandy relief aid, saying it included mandates that would be impossible to implement and featured “partisan…

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Posted: May 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Hurricane Sandy, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Christie conditionally vetoes Sandy ‘Bill of Rights’

NJ Senator Mike Doherty Pulls A Pelosi

Sponsors a critical bill before he reads it

Legislature in poised to pass a “cap” that doesn’t control costs

Mike Doherty

State Senator Mike Doherty

State Senator Mike Doherty (R-Warren) told MMM that he hadn’t read a bill of which is he is a primary sponsor, the day after it cleared the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

We’re not talking about an insignificant bill like designating “I’m from New Jersey” as the State Song, or the establishment of special license plates for honorably discharged veterans, two other bills that Doherty sponsored.

We’re talking about the extension of the 2% cap on arbitration awards for police and firefighters unions, the provision of the 2010 reform legislation that slowed the growth in New Jersey’s property taxes and made the 2% cap on those taxes work.

Doherty joined Senate President Sweeney in sponsoring legislation that exempts contracts that have already been subject to the cap from being subject to it again when they are up for renewal and raises the cap to 3% on contracts that have not yet been subject to renegotiation.

Doherty said, “I don’t see what the big deal is, the original bill had one bite at the apple, this bill extends that.  Is it a perfect bill? No, but this is the way Trenton works. A bill that passes is better than no bill.”

Not really, Senator.  A bill that passes the same as no bill, except it deceives the public into thinking the legislature is continuing fiscal reforms when they are actually engineering massive chaos in municipal governments.

Doherty said he hadn’t read the bill when we questioned him on specifics.  He said he was relying on analysis of the bill from Republican legislative staffers and referred questions to Republican Senators Steven Oroho and Sam Thompson, members of the committee that unanimously cleared the bill.

The leadership of the police and firefighters unions not only read the bill, they helped write it, according to what they are telling their members.

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Posted: March 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sweeney Rejects Using COAH Funds For Sandy Rebuilding

Sweeney: RCAs “put poor white folk and poor black folk out of town”

Hornik: “No one in Trenton can honestly say that COAH is working”

IMG_9153 (640x391)Senate President Sweeney rejected out of hand an idea brought forth by Marlboro Mayor Jonathon Hornik this week that could potentially release $184 million in dormant funds for the benefit of Superstrom Sandy victims.

Hornik called for the reinstatement of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA), in order to unlock $184 million in COAH funds to help residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes in an OpEd piece published on MMM and PolitickerNJ.

RCAs were a practice that was in place to build affordable housing in New Jersey from 1985 through 2008 under the Fair Housing Act, whereby communities that had raised affordable housing funds through development could transfer those funds, and their obligation to build affordable housing within their own community, to other communities with an immediate need.  The legislature and Governor Corzine outlawed RCAs in 2008.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon issued a statement commending Hornik  and said,”When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.”

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Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Declan O'Scanlon, Jon Hornik, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Oxley’s confimed by Senate

Photo credit: Scarcini, Hollenbeck

Photo credit: Scarcini, Hollenbeck

Former Monmouth County Sheriff Joe Oxley’s nomination to the Superior Court was confirmed by the State Senate this afternoon after having been unanimously approved by the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the day.

Four of the other nominees confirmed today will be joining Oxley on the Monmouth County bench.  Angela White Dalton of Howell, a former Township Councilwoman, Katie A. Gummer of Rumson,  Arnold L. Natali, Jr of Little Silver and Mara E. Zazzali-Hogan of Shrewsbury are each expected to be confirmed by the Senate today.  Zazzali-Hogan is the daughter of former NJ Chief Justice James R. Zazzali.  Zazzali was Chief Justice for seven months, October 2006 until his mandatory retirement in June of 2007,  after being nominated for the top post by Governor Corzine.  He became an Associate Justice in June of 2000.

Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson told MMM last December that the Court has been operating with six vacancies.  Kathy Sheedy of Cream Ridge was nominated by Governor Christie on Monday to fill the final vacancy.

Lawson was not available when MMM called this afternoon to ask what the assignments will be for the new judges.

Monmouth County Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos issued the following statement praising the New Jersey Senate’s confirmation of five Monmouth County residents to be judges of the Superior Court:

 

            “Monmouth County, like counties across the state, has had a number of judicial vacancies that have caused backlogs in our court system. We are pleased that the New Jersey Senate has finally taken action to confirm qualified nominees. By filling judicial vacancies, we can ensure that all kinds of legal proceedings, from criminal trials to divorce proceedings, can be heard in court in a timely manner.”

UPDATE and CORRECTION 2/8/13

Judge Lawson told MMM this afternoon that despite his Monmouth County residence, Natali will be assigned to the Middlesex County Vicinage. If Sheedy is confirmed by the Senate, the Monmouth Court will still have a vacancy.

A second vacancy will occur if Judge David F. Bauman is confirmed as an Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court.  Bauman and Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna were nominated to the Supreme Court by Governor Christie on December 10, 2012.   Senate President Steve Sweeney said this week that he wouldn’t be rushed into holding confirmation hearings for the two Supreme Court nominations.

Lawson said that the new Monmouth Judges will be assigned in either Family Court or Civil Court.  He has yet to determine who will be assigned where.

Posted: February 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Joe Oxley, Monmouth County Court | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »