Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) is joining with U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th District) and the other members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to urge the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to take steps to reduce the outrageously long wait times at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
“Newark Airport is a crucial hub for transportation not just for New Jersey but for our entire region. Long waits and delays are far too common at the airport and are completely unacceptable.
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) announced that he is joining with U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th District) and other members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation in calling for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to take steps to reduce shockingly long wait times at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
“Newark Airport is one of the busiest in the country, and protecting the people that use it is a top priority. However, if travelers are driven away by outrageously long wait times and delays, it could end up having a huge impact on our state’s economy.
Senator Steven Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, said that a projected state revenue shortfall announced by the Office of Legislative Services today highlights the need to advance tax reform efforts:
“While some will say that a revenue shortfall means we can’t afford tax reform, including the elimination of the estate tax, I believe it shows that we can’t afford to wait,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “The volatility in income tax revenues that is driving the shortfall is directly attributable to the accelerating outmigration of residents, income and wealth to lower tax states.”
Oroho noted that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data shows the average annual outflow of adjusted gross income (AGI) from New Jersey quickened from $1 billion per year from 1995-2004 to an average of $1.9 billion from 2004-2014, an 87.5% increase.
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli have, along with a number of Democrats, introduced a bill clarifying municipalities cannot be forced to meet retroactive affordable housing requirements, specifically because the Fair Housing Act does not impose such requirements.
The bipartisan bill was drafted in the wake of a court ruling that could set a dangerous precedent requiring towns statewide to include tens of thousands of more affordable housing units than they are obligated to provide under the Fair Housing Act.
“Municipalities need a clear set of guidelines for providing affordable housing,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Instead, one court has handed down a misguided mandate that clearly violates established law. Far too many New Jerseyans are still struggling to find adequate housing. Municipalities are scrambling to understand and meet their housing obligations. It’s time to stop playing games in the courts and focus on enacting real, comprehensive affordable housing reform.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) introduced legislation to make the process of filing for New Jersey’s homestead tax rebate easier for residents, especially seniors.
“This rebate is a valuable tool for homeowners to ease the burden of our high property taxes in New Jersey,” Senator Doherty said. “We need to eliminate any roadblocks they might encounter and make it easier for more people to take advantage of this program.”
In an effort to combat prescription drug abuse, Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) has introduced a bill which requires health care practitioners prescribing opioid medications to minors or children, to limit the amount of prescribed medication to a seven-day supply.
“Prescription drug abuse in children and teens is the new gateway drug to heroin use. We have been at the forefront of combating this deadly addiction for years and this legislation will continue that fight,” said Holzapfel. “With this bill we will limit the amount of opioids that doctors will be able to prescribe to minors and make it mandatory to discuss the serious risks associated with drug abuse to both the parent and the patient.”
New Jersey students who are eligible for NJ STARS would receive notification of eligibility during each year of high school, and general information in eighth grade, under a bill introduced Monday by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth) and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Union.) Currently, students only receive notification of eligibility to NJ STARS in their freshman and junior years of high school.
“Each year, tens of thousands of graduates leave to pursue a four-year degree out of state,” Senator Singer said. “Unless we work to keep students here, this will have a serious impact on our economy. NJ STARS gives talented students a solid reason to choose to complete their college education in New Jersey. To secure a strong and prosperous future, we need to ensure eligible students receive notification of this program as early as eighth grade, and at every stage of their high school education.”
With Opening Day of Monmouth Park’s 2016 racing season upcoming this weekend, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) reiterated her support for an expansion of gaming that would support New Jersey’s struggling horse racing industry.
“When we visit Monmouth Park or Freehold Raceway on a race day, or drive through the horse farms of Monmouth County, we realize how much is at risk of being lost,” said Beck. “The Legislature has moved forward to help this important industry, and now voters will have the opportunity to express their support this November.”
A proposed constitutional amendment, SCR-1, will appear before voters this November to allow for the operation of two new casinos in separate counties outside of Atlantic City.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would expand housing opportunities for veterans has been passed by the New Jersey Senate.
The delegation’s legislation, S-260, would reserve a portion of the tenant-based rental assistance vouchers under the State rental assistance program (SRAP) for grants to veterans. In the 2014-2015 Legislative Session, the legislation passed the Senate unanimously. Despite that level of strong support, the legislation was never considered in the Assembly.
The New Jersey Senate passes legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Under the legislation (S-631) an 18-member Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Advisory Council made up of state and private transportation officials would be created and given the task of conducting a comprehensive review of issues pertaining to pedestrian and bicycle safety-related issues in New Jersey.
“We need to find the best way to improve our infrastructure, as well as our traffic laws so our roads are safer for people travelling on foot or on bikes,” Senator Allen said. “We see far too many serious injuries and fatalities – particularly along Rt. 130, in Burlington County. We need to do more to ensure people’s safety.”