Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (all R- Monmouth) hailed Governor Christie’s signature of legislation expanding Off-Track Wagering as breathing new life into the horse racing industry:
“The Governor’s action paves the way for a horse racing industry that can stand on its own two feet without taxpayer assistance. Expanded wagering options will help stabilize, and eventually expand, the industry’s revenue stream and help it to compete with ‘racinos’ in Pennsylvania and New York.
Senator Joe Pennacchio, the senior Republican Member of the Senate Labor Committee, issued the following statement regarding the release of the report by the New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Task Force.
“I am pleased that the governor has accepted the report today by the task force. The members of the task force, especially the co-chairs Melanie Willoughby and Ed Fedorko and my colleague in the Senate, Fred Madden and the staff at the Department of Labor did an out stand job preparing this comprehensive report. They worked for several weeks last fall in preparing a thorough report that explored the cause of the fund’s imbalance and the reforms necessary to return the fund to fiscal health.
A letter signed by all sixteen Republican members of the New Jersey Senate announcing their opposition to any attempt by Democrats to insert tax increases into Governor Christie’s proposed FY 2012 budget was sent to Senate President Stephen Sweeney today.
The text of the letter follows:
Dear Senate President Sweeney,
Yesterday we learned that for the third year in a row New Jersey residents carried the highest tax burden in America. While clearly undesirable, this distinction should not be a surprise to anyone.
For far too long New Jersey’s answer to its problems was to throw money at them. In the eight years prior to Governor Christie’s election, taxes were raised 115 times to fund $11 billion in spending increases and a doubling of the state’s debt. It’s hardly surprising then that the state has lagged in population growth, seen among the highest job losses in the region, and was rated the worst place in America to employ workers during that time period.
Beck, O’Scanlon & Casagrande: District 12 Schools Receive Additional $7.3 Million in Governor’s Budget
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande are pleased to announce that Governor Chris Christie’s budget will give an additional $7.3 million in state aid to area schools.
“Governor Christie recognizes what I have been saying for years- schools in our area are receiving the short end of the stick in state school aid,” said Senator Beck. “Despite the budget challenges we face, the Governor has prioritized additional school aid for our communities. While we have a long way to go, I’m confident that Governor Christie is as committed to this fight as I am, as evidenced by his budget.”
“New Jersey’s public schools do a wonderful job educating our students in spite of a state a funding formula that is patently unfair,” added O’Scanlon. “We are committed to fighting this injustice together with the Governor, and this year’s budget is the first step in that direction.”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) today praised Governor Christie’s budget proposal for addressing major drivers of local property taxes: healthcare and pension costs for public employees.
“Pension and health benefits reform for public employees does not just impact the state’s budget, ” said Kean. “The conveniently overlooked story by the Governor’s critics is that reforming these overly generous benefits systems will yield substantial and, in the case of health reform, immediate savings to local government. The Governor’s budget featured sustainable property tax relief by demanding swift enactment of meaningful pension and benefits reform, which are major drivers of municipal, county, and school district budgets. Property tax payers should not be asked to pay for a system of benefits more generous than they themselves receive.”
In light of the recent ruling by a State appeals court upholding Kyleigh’s Law, which requires new drivers under 21 years old to display red decals on their vehicle license plates, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-12) is calling upon the Legislature to pass her bill, which would require the development of an identification that, while invisible to the general public, is identifiable by law enforcement officials.
“Although the court has ruled that Kyleigh’s Law is constitutional and is not preempted by the federal driver’s privacy protection act,” said Beck, “it is important that we find a middle ground with parents who have expressed real concern over the potential risks a visible red decal may present to their teens.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) creating a free saltwater fishing registry for recreational anglers has been signed into law by Governor Christie. The new law will save fishermen from complying with federal registration and a fee assessment of $15:
“There was simply no reason for New Jersey not to save sportsmen the hassle and expense of federal registration,” said Senator Beck. “New Jersey’s coastline is a recreational treasure that affords residents and visitors low cost, low hassle fun. Establishing a state registry will require minimal effort and expense to the state while relieving anglers of a small but punitive federal assessment.”
DOT Responds to 9th District Delegation’s Call for Expediting Safety Improvements at Route 9-Barnegat Blvd. Intersection
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has responded to a request made by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove to expedite planned safety modifications for the Route 9-Barnegat Boulevard Intersection. The 9th District Delegation wrote to DOT Commissioner James S. Simpson on January 14 of this year, at the request of the Barnegat Township Committee.
In a letter sent today, the 9th District Delegation apprised Mayor Jeff Melchiondo and the Township Committee of the following announcement by the DOT:
“Please be advised that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) has responded to our Delegation’s January 14, 2011 letter sent on behalf of Barnegat Township requesting that all necessary measures be taken in order to expedite safety modifications needed at the Route 9 and Barnegat Boulevard North intersection. The Department’s letter has been enclosed for your review and reference.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement on the Governor’s budget:
“Governor Christie presented New Jersey with a budget that creates permanent, private sector jobs by forcing the state to live within its means and not balance wasteful spending on the backs of businesses. Restoring sanity to our state budget is the most powerful action we can take to put people back to work- far more effective than any cleverly named, haphazard package of one-shot legislation.
“I am exceptionally pleased the Governor has made Senate Republicans’ priority of increasing school aid his own this year. School budgets are the single largest part of New Jersey’s property tax burden, and the Governor’s proposed $250 million increase in aid is welcome relief- particularly in long-shortchanged suburban districts.
“As usual, the Governor was clear, direct and inspiring.”
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) issued the following statement in response to Governor Christie’s FY 2012 budget address:
“Governor Christie continues to lead the nation in calling for spending and tax cuts, now, for the second year in a row. The Christie model is the new default position for Republican and Democrat reformers across America.
“Not only does he propose surgical business tax cuts to motivate jobs and the economy, he increases school aid for all districts throughout the State.