Budget Panel Advances Measure to Create State Contract Set-Aside Program for Veteran-Owned Businesses
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th Legislative District that would establish a set-aside program whereby three percent of all State contracts would be set aside for veteran-owned businesses was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The 9th District Delegation issued the following statement regarding their veterans initiative (S-2314/A-3308):
“The action taken today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee marks a significant step forward in moving this bi-partisan veteran initiative through the legislative process.
Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following comments regarding Senate passage today of binding arbitration reform:
“Today’s passage of arbitration reform, by the Senate is extraordinary. Less than a year ago, few people in the state thought that an agreement of this magnitude that has the potential to dramatically reform property tax levies, could be reached.
Senator Michael Doherty issued the following comment today following the passage of S-2121 that establishes Route 31 as the “Tri-County Purple Heart Memorial Highway.”
“Today all across the globe young men and women have answered the nations call and are serving in harms way,” Doherty began. “It is appropriate that The State of New Jersey recognize the commitment and sacrifice of these young patriots.”
Calling unemployment in New Jersey a ‘problem that knows no partisan bounds’, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Westfield) was joined by his Republican colleagues in calling on Democrats to bring seven additional job creation bills up for consideration in the Senate. The measures, left untouched by the Majority since the beginning of the legislative year, would complement the Democrats’ stated desire to pass jobs focused legislation in the next two months:
“From the beginning of this legislative session, Republicans submitted countless job creation bills,” said Senator Kean. “We are encouraged that the Democrats have joined us this month in recognizing the unemployment problem in New Jersey. The proposals taken up by the Senate to address this issue should not be dictated by politics or the partisan affiliation of the sponsor. Today, Republicans will move that nine additional bills complementary to the Majority’s package but excluded from the agenda be brought to the floor for consideration. Unemployed workers deserve a government that works across party lines to consider every responsible proposal to create jobs and improve our economy.”
Declaring that parents must be given tools to force changes in failing schools, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) today announced that he has submitted groundbreaking education reform legislation to the Senate for consideration. The Parent Empowerment and Choice Act, known informally as the “parent trigger”, allows parents in chronically underperforming school districts to compel a variety of reforms be undertaken via petition.
“Children in dramatically underperforming school districts, many of which are in the poorest neighborhoods in New Jersey, report to class every day as unwilling actors in a modern tragedy,” said Senator Kyrillos. “These children are not afforded the education they need to make a better life for themselves, and are placed at a substantial disadvantage to their peers by government and the education establishment. Parents are given little choice but to look on as their children are failed in the most formative years of their lives. It is a moral imperative and an economic imperative that we not allow this to continue in New Jersey.”
Exempts Donated Money From State Taxes
Legislation sponsored by Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) that would exempt families, who are victims of school violence, from paying state taxes on money received from a memorial fund or other charitable cause was unanimously passed by the Senate yesterday.
“This money was raised by individuals and given to families to assist them in their time of need, ” Cardinale said. “The state should not turn around and add to their hardship by taxing these funds.”
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R- Burlington), member of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee, issued this statement following the panel’s approval of legislation reforming interest arbitration for public employees:
“Taxpayers are the winners under this agreement,” said Senator Addiego. “The compromise proposal reached between legislative leaders and the Governor is a major milestone for reform in New Jersey- one that too many residents thought would never come. Placing a realistic cap on arbitration awards, speeding up the time in which cases must be resolved, and requiring that arbitrators be chosen at random will reduce labor costs and the pressures they exert on local budgets. I look forward to supporting this bold property tax reform measure when it comes to the floor of the Senate.”
State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. today issued the following statement praising the arbitration reform agreement between Governor Christie and legislative leaders:
“By working together, we have restored balance to the arbitration process to better control property taxes for middle-class families,” said Senator Kean. “Too many families have reached a breaking point with their ability to afford the costly expenses of local government. With this agreement, public employees and taxpayers can continue to live, work, and raise their families in a state that is more affordable for all. This is truly a historic day for New Jersey.”
In light of the announcement by Exelon, the operator of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Facility, that the company will cease operations at the facility in 2019, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for immediate action on their legislation (S-866/A-296) that would establish a New Jersey Coordinating Council on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Generating Facilities.
In response to today’s announcement, the 9th District delegation immediately wrote to Governor Chris Christie asking for the Administration’s support for their legislation that was initially introduced in January of 2004. In its letter to the Governor, the delegation emphasized their concerns regarding the potential economic and environmental impact that facility’s closure would have on the local area.
Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today called on Senate Democrats to include complementary legislation from Republican lawmakers in efforts to spur job creation in New Jersey:
Senator Kevin O’Toole (R- Essex, Bergen, Passaic):
Unemployed New Jersey residents expect that we all work together to attract business and create jobs- regardless of our philosophical differences and political affiliations. The debate we had today in the Budget Committee is one that Republicans asked to start in January. I am hopeful that these efforts are just a starting point in the Legislature’s efforts to put New Jersey back to work and that other ideas that have been presented on both sides of the aisle will be included in further discussions.