Thompson: Millions Wasted in Newark Abuses Could Have Been Used to Fund Public Safety, Prevent Spike in Violent Crimes
Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the spike in violent crimes in Newark precipitated by budget problems and police layoffs demonstrates the tangible harm caused by fraud and the abuse of government authority by public officials in the city:
“At the same time that the State Comptroller identified millions of dollars being wasted at the Watershed Corporation under ex-Mayor, now U.S. Senator Cory Booker, hundreds of Newark police officers were laid off due to budget cuts leading to a surge of violent crimes, including a 41 percent increase in murders in the city from 2009 to 2013.
“It is crystal clear that the reported waste, abuse or fraud associated with the Newark Watershed has directly impacted the safety and well being of residents.
Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16) appeared on Comcast Newsmakers with host Jill Horner to talk about the bipartisan effort to create a stable source of open space funding.
The following letter to the editor by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) on the need to make the two-percent binding arbitration cap permanent to help local governments lower costs and protect property taxpayers was published in the Star-Ledger on April 17, 2014:
Preserve 2% award cap
Few things in government are ever black and white. Most fall within shades of gray, to be parsed out by policymakers. But the current issue of the expired binding arbitration cap is not one of these. The message is simple: We must make this law permanent. Allowing this critical law to expire is a serious disservice to our constituents.
Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove of the 9th Legislative District sent the following letter to the Mayor and Council of Galloway Township providing an update on an improvement study conducted by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) regarding the establishment of a full interchange at Garden State Parkway Exit 40-Route 30 Connector.
Included below are PDFs of the letter sent to Mayor Purdy and council members, along with the study documents provided by the NJTA.
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) was recognized Wednesday evening by the New Jersey Environmental Lobby for his contributions to the protection and preservation of New Jersey’s environment.
Senator Bateman and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. were awarded the annual Frank J. Oliver Environmental Award at NJEL’s awards reception at Seton Hall University.
“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition from the tireless advocates at the NJEL,” said Bateman, a member of the Senate Environment and Energy committee. “I have always believed as a legislator that we have a responsibility to make our beautiful state a healthier and safer place to live for future generations.
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) is introducing legislation to repeal Realty Transfer Fees in New Jersey, in response to Gov. Chris Christie’s vow to eliminate this tax if given the opportunity.
“When you sell your home in New Jersey, you’re getting whacked by this arbitrary tax, and that’s wrong,” Allen said. “This initiative will help struggling homeowners, including those who might be facing short sales or foreclosures. It will save property owners across this state a burden of thousands of dollars, which particularly hurts those who have lost equity in their homes due to the economic recession.”
In the following video, Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) breaks down the need for the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation to look into serious abuses of government power in Newark that were uncovered by the State Comptroller.
Thompson and Senator Ron Rice (D-28) have launched a petition at http://senatenj.com/newark to support their bipartisan call for the Select Committee perform this inquiry.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr., (R-Union, Somerset, Morris) issued the following statement today after joining Governor Christie, state and local elected leaders in urging the Assembly Majority to take action on legislation extending the 2-percent interest arbitration award cap.
“The Senate Republican Caucus stands with Governor Christie in urging the passage of this bipartisan legislation to extend the 2-percent cap on arbitration awards. It’s no coincidence that under the cap, contracts and property taxes grew at the lowest levels in decades.
“Unfortunately, we now stand to lose the progress we have made. How can we expect municipalities to hold down costs if there’s no ability to control arbitration awards for police and fire salaries?
Senators Michael Doherty and Joe Kyrillos, who sponsor legislation capping arbitration awards at two percent, urged the Assembly to pass the current bipartisan cap extension legislation.
“Assembly Democrats’ refusal to extend the cap on arbitration awards has placed towns on the precipice of having to choose between raising property taxes to pay for limitless spikes in salaries or eliminating critical services,” said Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset). “We can’t let this ticking bomb explode, eliminating the historic bipartisan reforms made in the last four years to limit property tax growth.”
“Municipal officials have made it abundantly clear that without this means to control public employee contracts they lose the key tool to keeping costs in check and to stay within the current property tax cap,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “The Assembly must act now to extend the cap, or once again already overburdened taxpayers across the state will be on the losing end.”
The following op-ed by Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) on the need to hold activist judges accountable was published in the Star-Ledger:
Members of the New Jersey Bar Association and the judiciary have expressed concern over what they see as a threat to judicial independence posed by Gov. Chris Christie and others who criticize “activist” jurists, and the governor’s break with tradition when he declined to nominate two sitting Supreme Court justices for lifetime tenure.
Ralph Lamparello, president of the bar association, was quoted in the April 6 Star-Ledger: “There is a concerted effort among the executive and legislative branches of government to politicize the judicial branch and to subordinate its co-equal status.”
To the contrary — it is the activist judges who long ago eliminated the co-equal status of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Activist judges have decreed the judiciary is superior to the executive and legislative branches, and they have done so time after time by issuing rulings based not upon what the constitution or statutes clearly state, but rather upon what they believe they should have said.