Friday, March 30, 2012

Vainieri Huttle Welcomes Port Authority Changes While Underscoring Need to Make Accountability Permanent

(ENGLEWOOD) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) welcomed the news that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is instituting greater cost controls and transparency but said the move underscores the need to pass legislation that will make such measures a permanent requirement rather than a permissive move when the agency is under fire.
Vainieri Huttle is the lead Assembly sponsor of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act (A-1011), which would require more public transparency, regular audits, and greater financial accountability, measures the agency has been criticized for lacking in recent audits. The legislation recently passed the Senate and awaits final legislative action by the Assembly before being sent to the Governor’s desk. Similar legislation is also working its way through the New York Legislature right now, which is a requirement for any laws governing the bi-state agency.
“Absent our legislation, it’s great to see the Port Authority taking steps to control costs and make more records available to the public, but these moves can easily be undone when the heat is off the agency. One has to wonder if any of these steps would have been taken if reports of mismanagement and waste had not come to light.
“With the Port Authority in charge of a $7 billion budget that affects millions of commuters, increased accountability should not be left to the whims of those in charge, especially when the Vice-Commissioner has admitted that the changes will be ‘painful.’ If anyone understands painful it’s the commuters that have been dealing with the Port Authority’s exorbitant toll hikes since September.
“An independent audit has confirmed that the agency is in need of a top-to-bottom operational overhaul. This is something that needs to be codified by law and I look forward to sending our Transparency and Accountability Act to the Governor’s desk soon,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Green Calls for Independent Review of Plainfield Municipal Utility Authority amid Reports of Fiscal Mismanagement

(PLAINFIELD) – Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green has written a letter asking the City of Plainfield mayor and council to take immediate steps to protect residents from the impact of ongoing operational and fiscal mismanagement at the troubled Plainfield Municipal Utility Authority (PMUA).
“From every report that I have seen or received, the PMUA is an agency that has been out of control for some time,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Rates and fees for collection and disposal of garbage and for wastewater services are much too high. The city needs to undertake an immediate review of the agency’s operations and finances, and consider the possible dissolution of the authority.”
Green noted that the city is empowered by the Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law to dissolve the authority, if it’s first established that direct assumption of responsibility for services related to wastewater and solid waste disposal are necessary “for the health, safety and welfare” of our citizens.
In recent weeks, there has been a significant amount of public debate and outcry about the future of the PMUA amid reports of uncontrolled spending of public funds, crushing debt and bloated personnel rosters.
“I’m recommending to the mayor and council that an expeditious review of the PMUA be undertaken by a team of independent experts, which will provide all concerned with a true picture of the authority’s status, including staffing, operations, salaries existing debt and revenue, as well as future projections,” said Green.
The City of Plainfield previously adopted ordinance MC2011-10 which requires public advertisement and request for proposals from qualified professionals to undertake the task of an independent review of the authority.
 “I have indicated to the mayor and council that I believe they have a pressing obligation to undertake the process for selection of a group to commence an independent review of every aspect of the PMUA. If such a study reveals the need for the authority to be dissolved, so be it,” Green added. “If the City of Plainfield can cut the fat and waste out of the agency, and provide the same or better level of service at a reduced rate, so be it. We should not waste a single day. The city needs to act now, not later.”
Green has represented the City of Plainfield in the New Jersey Legislature for more than 20 years, and currently serves as the chairman of the Plainfield Municipal Democratic Committee.


I'll cut to the chase: If we don’t hit our goal before Saturday’s midnight FEC deadline, we may give the Republicans the tiny advantage they need to snatch the Senate away from you.

The good news is, we have real momentum. President Obama, Tim Kaine in Virginia and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin have all built slim margins in the latest polls.

But we know too well that polling in March won’t matter a bit in November if Republicans spend a tidal wave of Koch Brothers’ cash clouding the truth with the lies and smears that have been the GOP trademark for as long as you and I can remember.

Trust me -- it works. And this time it could cost us the Senate. Believe me. I know firsthand. And I'm not willing to turn back the clock to the days when the Senate was a rubber stamp for Republican extremism.

I flat-out refuse to put our majority at risk and see the American peoples' agenda endangered. That’s why I need you today, this minute.

We know what the Republicans do when they think they can get away with it. They find a few radical right-wing millionaires to bankroll TV ads and smear campaigns that tear down Democrats.

These extremists are already at it in key Senate races across the country. Ads slamming Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and Sherrod Brown in Ohio with half-truths and outright lies are already going full blast.

The DSCC knows how to fight back. We build incredible campaigns on the ground in battleground states to identify our voters and get them to the polls.

Winning with honor isn't easy -- it takes a long time and it takes a fight every single day. We simply need the campaign resources now – in the next three days – or we can’t meet every milestone every day.
Your contribution before Saturday’s midnight deadline is vitally important. We have to be able to respond to the dirty tricks and the outright lies so we can re-elect President Obama and defend our majority.

The stakes are as clear as they can be. I need you invested in Democratic victory immediately. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Your support right here, right now could make or break the amazing nationwide campaign we're building every second every day:


John Kerry

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speaker Oliver, Ramos & Caputo Announce Plans for Public Hearings on Gaming in Meadowlands

(TRENTON) – Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee Chair Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. and Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee Member Ralph R. Caputo today announced plans to host public hearings this year to discuss the merits of bringing casino gaming to the Meadowlands.
“We need to at least discuss the idea of bringing casino-style gambling to the Meadowlands and whether it has the potential to create jobs, incentivize the local economy and position New Jersey’s gaming industry to better compete against the casinos that have cropped up in neighboring states. These are benefits worth exploring further,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic).
“Expanding gaming options to North Jersey would strengthen New Jersey against the competition in border states which has already lured customers away,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Any plan that could bring additional revenue to the state and create jobs deserves careful consideration.”
“The reality is that Atlantic City is losing many of its North Jersey customers to newly-opened casinos in Pennsylvania and New York,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “Bringing gaming to the Meadowlands can help us reclaim them and bring back much-needed revenue to New Jersey.
“As a former casino executive, I support a constitutional amendment. As a legislator and member of this committee, I believe, as gaming in Atlantic City was decided by the voters in 1976, people should have a say in whether gaming should be allowed in the Meadowlands,” Caputo added.
The committee is currently working on scheduling the hearings. Dates and locations will be announced at a later date.

Assembly Democrats: Time for Everyone to Support Middle-Class Property Tax Relief

(CAMDEN) – Assembly Democrats released the following statement Monday as the Assembly Budget Committee held its third public hearing on the governor’s budget plan, which provides tax breaks that benefit the wealthy over middle-class property tax relief:
Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen):
“It’s time for everyone to get behind the Democratic plan to provide middle-class property tax relief and help the families who have shouldered a heavy burden under Gov. Christie. Our plan provides on average nearly $1,600 in savings to middle-class families and nearly $2,000 for senior and disabled citizens. That’s a winning plan for more than 95 percent of our homeowners.”
Assembly Budget Vice Chairman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen):
“It’s clear that Gov. Christie’s plan benefits the wealthy far more than the middle-class, but out plan provides help against the tax that burden our working families the most. The Assembly Democratic plan means nearly $1,600 for middle-class families and $1,939 for senior citizens. That’s real savings that will make a meaningful difference.”
Assembly Appropriations Chairman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/ Cumberland):
“Our constant focus should be on property tax relief for our middle- and lower-income families here in New Jersey struggling daily. It we want to make New Jersey more competitive, than we must tackle the property tax and provide more property tax relief. We don’t need more tax cuts that benefit the rich.”
Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington):
“New Jerseyans needs real, sustainable and immediate property tax relief, and that’s what Democrats will provide. Our plan provides relief to more than 95 percent of New Jersey homeowners, with middle-class families in line for $1,600 and seniors set to get $2,000 to help fight the most regressive tax in our state. Property tax relief for New Jersey’s middle-class is the right approach.”
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen):
“Not only does our plan provide almost $1,600 for middle-class families and nearly $2,000 for senior citizens, but it triples relief for tenants. This is relief that is focused on struggling middle-class and lower-income families, not the wealthiest who have enjoyed $40,000 annual tax breaks under Gov. Christie – or almost as much as many New Jersey families earn in a full year. It’s time to do what’s right and provide this vital property tax help.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prieto: ‘Real, Reliable & Responsible Property Tax Relief to Middle-Class and Lower-Income New Jerseyans’

(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) had the following published Friday in The Jersey Journal:

“Everyone supports tax relief, but the key is to make sure, here in New Jersey, that we’re talking about the right kind of tax relief.
“When I get calls and visits to my office, or when people stop me on the street to talk about the issues, they don’t complain about the income tax.
“They complain about the property tax.
“That’s why Assembly Democrats are focused on providing real, reliable and responsible property tax relief to middle-class and lower-income New Jerseyans who have borne the brunt of the governor’s ill-advised policies during the last two years.
“Unlike the governor, whose income-tax plan would once again benefit the wealthy over the middle class, Assembly Democrats are sending vital tax relief to where it’s needed most, with a plan for a 20 percent property-tax relief credit for New Jersey middle-class and lower-income property tax payers.
“The Democratic plan would help more than 95 percent of New Jersey homeowners and provide a maximum property-tax relief credit of $2,000. The average family would be in line to receive a $1,552 credit to help against property taxes, which have soared under Gov. Christie.
“It’s a plan everybody who cares about New Jersey’s middle- and lower-income homeowners should support...”

Commited to Kepping a Democratic Majority in the Senate


Republicans are on the march, and if we don’t fight back, they will continue to try to run roughshod over women, the middle class, and seniors.

Whether it’s waging war on women’s civil liberties, engaging in an aggressive, dangerous quest to repeal health care reform, or stripping away the safety net, radical Republicans will do it.

Can you imagine if they had total control of Congress? It would be a nightmare.

The GOP needs to win just four of the 23 seats we’re defending to take control of the Senate. Four seats constitute our last line of defense against a Congress completely controlled by Tea Party Republicans. And polling shows more than four are within the margin of error.

If the DSCC doesn’t meet their end-of-quarter goal and raise $1 million by the crucial March 31 FEC deadline, we may not have the resources we need to beat back the Republicans.
The Republicans are calling on their big guns, like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove’s special interest groups, but we’ve got the grassroots. We get 95% of our donations from grassroots supporters.

If we don’t stand up in the Senate, it won’t matter who wins the White House. You’ve seen how destructive Republicans in the House have been; a Republican-controlled Senate would do damage to our country that would require decades to undo.

They want to do away with contraception coverage and basic women’s health services. They want to repeal health care reform, taking us back to when millions more were uninsured and providers could drop you when your need was greatest. They want to cut funding for vital programs like Head Start and the Clean Air Act.

And the safety net? It gets in the way of tax breaks for their wealthy donors.

Republicans know they lose on these issues among everyday people. It’s why they’re going state-to-state and passing restrictive voter ID laws; it’s why they’re pumping loads of special interest money into these races.

Don’t let them get away with it. This end-of-quarter FEC deadline is critical. We have to raise $1 million – so much hangs in the balance.

Thank you very much for your support.

Frank Lautenberg

Menendez for Senate

We are quite serious about this goal.
We have to be. Governor Christie is serious about raising money for Bob's opponent. He threw a fundraiser that netted their campaign $600,000 -- in a single night. Of course, it only takes a few of Christie's rich friends to hit that number.
But we cannot let Chris Christie's millionaire friends determine the course of this campaign. Let's show the Republicans, and the media, that Bob is ready for this fight and ready to win.
I've run the numbers and, with less than a week to go, we need to raise $47,879 online. We can't fall short. Can Bob count on you to help us reach the goal, before the 11:59 p.m. deadline on March 31?
At 11:59 p.m. on March 31, we are officially done taking donations for the first quarter. The books close and we file our numbers with the FEC.
This quarter we face an even bigger challenge than usual. Governor Christie has been raising millions of dollars for our opponent. If we allow them to out-raise us, it will be the biggest story of the campaign season and give the Republicans the momentum they crave.
We need to prove that Bob is the candidate with the grassroots strength behind him to fight and to win, and we need to do it before midnight, March 31.
Thanks so much for all your help! I know it means the world to Bob.
Fran's signature

Fran Katz Watson
Finance Director
Menendez for Senate

Christie Administration awards over $4.2 million in Local Aid funding to 20 Union County towns to help control property taxes

387 Municipal Aid, Local Aid Infrastructure Fund
and Safe Streets to Transit grants awarded statewide

(Trenton) – The Christie Administration today announced that 20 Union County municipalities will share more than $4.2 million in NJDOT Local Aid grants to advance street improvement, rehabilitation and safety projects without burdening local property taxpayers.  Statewide 387 Local Aid grants were awarded, totaling $78.4 million.

The bulk of the Local Aid grants were awarded under the Municipal Aid program, with 374 grants totaling $76,126,200. Another 10 Local Aid Infrastructure Fund (LAIF) grants worth $1,810,000 and three Safe Streets to Transit (SSTT) grants worth $500,000 were also announced. 

Competition is always robust for grants under the NJDOT Local Aid program, with 374 of 661 FY 12 Municipal Aid grant applications, or 57 percent, earning an award.  

“The Christie Administration strongly supports funding for Local Aid because it understands how important it is for government at all levels to provide safe streets and roads for motorists and pedestrians alike,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson.  “These grants advance local projects without placing a burden on local property taxpayers.” 

Including the Municipal Aid grant awards announced today, the Administration will award approximately $193.5 million in state-funded grants this year under several different Local Aid grant categories. An additional $101.2 in federally funded grants will bring the total value of the Local Aid grant program to $294.7 million.

Municipal governments maintain 29,408 centerline miles of streets and roads, or 74 percent of the statewide total.  The Municipal Aid grant program covers a variety of projects, including road resurfacing and reconstruction projects.  However, towns are encouraged to submit applications for such non-traditional projects as those that support safety, walking and biking and streetscape improvements in their communities.  A total of 8.5 percent of the projects selected for Municipal Aid funding were of that type.
“New Jersey’s Local Aid program provides significant support to municipalities throughout the state,” said William G. Dressel Jr., executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. “Now more than ever, alternate revenues other than property taxes are needed and appreciated by mayors and residents alike.”
Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population, the number of local centerline miles and other factors, and municipalities compete for portions of their county’s share.  NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Assembly Budget Committee to Hold Public Hearing in Camden

(CAMDEN)- The Assembly Budget Committee on Monday will hold its third public hearing on the governor's budget plan.
           The hearing is scheduled for 9:30am at the Technology Center at Camden County College at 601 Cooper St. in Camden.

Greenwald: ‘It’s Time for Middle-Class Property Tax Relief’

(TRENTON) – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) had the following published in the Burlington County Times:

“Gov. Chris Christie’s recent budget address was quite the performance. He proclaimed New Jersey has turned the corner on unemployment and high property taxes. He pronounced “the New Jersey Comeback has begun.” He might as well have donned a flight suit and declared ‘Mission Accomplished!’
“Unfortunately, it was just more of the same for the governor — more 30-second sound bites instead of solutions, more handouts to millionaires instead of real relief to the middle-class. In fact, even the ratings agency Standard & Poors noted the recklessness of Christie’s budget, saying it is overly optimistic and structurally unbalanced.
“And that is precisely the problem with Christie’s proposed income tax cut; it makes for nice headlines and a hefty payday for millionaires but fails to provide meaningful relief to middle-class families.
“Assembly Democrats, however, have a plan to help struggling middle-class families — a 20 percent property tax relief credit to homeowners of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid for all homeowners earning up to $250,000 per year. Our plan would be phased in over four years, with significant relief to begin immediately, and it would be funded by asking New Jersey's millionaires to pay their fair share.
“The contrast between our plan and the governor's plan couldn't be clearer.
“Christie's plan would save a family earning $100,000 per year just $275, while millionaires get a tax break of $7,265.75. Under the governor's plan, middle-class families don't save enough for a week's worth of groceries, while millionaires save enough to take an exotic vacation.
“Under our plan, a family earning $100,000 per year that pays $8,000 in property taxes would receive $1,600 in tax relief, compared with the $275 under the governor's plan. Our plan provides real property tax relief to 95 percent of New Jersey homeowners, with the average family slated to receive a credit of $1,552 against its property taxes. And our plan strengthens relief for tenants while maintaining the Senior Freeze program that so many of our elderly and disabled residents rely on.
“Recent data show just how critical it is for us to attack the problem of nation-leading high property taxes. According to an analysis by New Jersey Spotlight, Christie's cuts to property tax rebates have meant net property taxes are 20 percent higher under him than they were before he assumed office. That's simply unacceptable.
“Democrats know that high property taxes are the cancer that is killing our state. It is the tax without a conscience. It is the tax that drives countless families to leave our state and stifles economic growth. It is the tax with the heaviest burden on middle-class families and senior citizens living on fixed incomes. And that is precisely why New Jersey needs the real property tax relief we have proposed.
“Simply put, now is not the time to give up on property tax relief, as the governor has done.
“In the coming days and months, we will undoubtedly have a robust debate on this important issue. Throughout the process, Democrats will remain focused on providing relief to the middle-class and working families in New Jersey struggling every day. Because under this governor, those are the families that truly need the help.”

Lampitt to GOP: Stop Playing Games With Domestic Violence Protections

(VOORHEES)--In response to recent news reports, Assembly Women and Children Committee Chairwoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) today called on Republican Senators in Washington to stop stalling and immediately renew the federal Violence Against Women Act.  In light of the landmark 1994 legislation's vital importance to protecting women from domestic violence, Lampitt also called on Governor Christie to join with her in urging Washington Republicans to act quickly.

"Republicans in Washington need to understand one thing--the women of this country cannot afford to wait one minute longer for the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act," said Lampitt.  "It's time to stop playing politics with women's lives.  I hope Governor Christie will join with me in calling on Washington Republicans to stop stalling and pass this vital legislation immediately."

The landmark 1994 legislation provided enhanced resources to law enforcement to investigate and prosecute domestic violence, as well as providing a civil cause of action in instances where there was no prosecution. The National Organization for Women estimates that the rate of domestic violence against women declined 53 percent between 1993 and 2008.

"After the progress we've seen under this critically-needed law, now is not the time for delay--it's time for action," said Lampitt.  "Washington Republicans should stop catering to fringe conservative views and pass this bill without delay."

The Violence Against Women Act was successfully reauthorized in 2000 and 2005.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spencer, Barnes, Wimberly & Ramos Bill to Help Protect Consumers Against Repeated & Unfair ATM Fees Approved By Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly member L. Grace Spencer, Peter J. Barnes III, Benjie E. Wimberly and Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. to ensure New Jerseyans aren’t forced to fall victim to repeated unfair ATM charges was recently approved 69-10 by the Assembly.
            The bill (A-595) prohibits businesses from operating an automated teller machine in this state unless the automated teller machine provides consumers with an option to withdraw $20 increments up to $200 per transaction
            “Many times stores in lower-income neighborhoods underserved by banks bar people from taking out more than $20 from their ATM, for instance, thus forcing consumers to complete multiple transactions at the same ATM, all the while incurring unfair service fees,” said Spencer (D-Essex). “That is wrong and it’s time it came to a stop.”
            “New Jerseyans in need of cash shouldn’t be subjected to schemes that force them to end up paying multiple transactions fees for no particular reason other than to make money for the store off of ATM fees,” said Barnes (D-Middlesex). “It’s unreasonable and unfair and this bill will put an end to it.”
            “Many of these ATMs are in stores in lower-income neighborhoods. These ATMs are convenient, but that doesn’t give these stores the right to use them as their personal piggy banks,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Money is tight for many people. These processing fees can add up. This bill prevents these stores from benefitting at the expense of cash-strapped residents.”
            “Most people are watching their spending and tightening their belts with good reason,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Making someone pay several transaction fees without any real justification than to put money in the pockets of store owners is shameful and must stop. With this bill, we can end this shady practice.”
            The bill provides for enforcement by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, who may also adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the bill’s provisions.
            The bill also provides for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day for failure to comply with the provisions of the bill.
            The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Johnson & Burzichelli Bill to Encourage Online Donations to Beneficial Programs in New Jersey Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson and John Burzichelli to encourage online donations to many of the beneficial programs intrinsically linked to New Jersey was approved last Thursday by the full Assembly by a vote of 66-10-3.
            The bill (A-2351) would provide easy, online access to the special funds listed on New Jersey’s gross income tax return forms. 
            “In this day and age, it's just common sense to let people donate online and not just on their tax returns,” said Johnson (D-Bergen).  “If we can provide residents with the knowledge and access to lend a helping hand, I have no doubt that we can increase support for many of New Jersey’s worthwhile programs.”
Currently, only the New Jersey Children’s Trust Fund to Prevent Child Abuse, one of a handful of specific tax check-off items listed on New Jersey’s gross income tax return, allows for online donations.
This bill would require the state to create a separate online donation form for any of the special funds designated under current law, including the NJ Endangered Wildlife Fund, the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund, the NJ Breast Cancer Research Fund, the state’s Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program, and the U.S.S. New Jersey Educational Museum Fund.
 “With more and more people filing their taxes online, it’s important that we take advantage of these tools to promote the many worthwhile programs closely associated with our state, which are in need of support,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).  “Online donations are practical, and will make it a lot easier for residents to step up to the plate to help these programs, particularly in a down economy.”
According to a recent report from the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, total charitable contributions nationwide declined for the first time since 1987, down 3.6 percent in 2009.  It was also just the second decline in contributions since the foundation began publishing annual reports in 1956. 
Roughly 50 to 60 percent of organizations that provided data to the Giving USA Foundation reported lower gift receipts in 2009 than in 2008.  Hit particularly hard were charities that promote education and the arts, which suffered two consecutive years of decline. They lost 8.8 percent and 8.7 percent of donations, respectively, between 2007 and 2009.
The bill now awaits consideration by the Senate.

To Set the Record Straight

After reading Doc’s Potpourri "Budget News" I would like to correct his mention that I am against the Governor’s interest in the state investigating the PMUA. To the council member that mentioned that the republican Governor has to come to Plainfield to deal with this particular issue, my response is that after receiving letters from some concerned citizens of Plainfield I decided to call the Governor’s office. I was told that the Governor would be forwarding this letter to the Division of Community Affairs, which I also spoke to a few days ago about this issue. They are currently reviewing all concerns brought to their attention, but a decision has not been made. I doubt the Governor will make any decision until all the facts are put in front of him. In the future Doc, when you give facts make sure that they’re true. When I saw yesterday’s blog I had to comment. I try very hard to accuse no one of wrong doing so they won’t be sued for saying or printing something not true. For the record I didn’t say I was against the Governor coming into Plainfield to investigate any issue.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stop the Politic Grand Standing. It's Time for Real Solutions.

Congratulations to the Plainfield High School Basketball Team for a very successful year!!!  I was proud to be there to support our youth.  They played well on the court and conducted themselves well off the court.  Sitting in my seat, I looked out and was very pleased for our City to see more than 5,000 people cheering our team in those stands.  Students, parents, Plainfielders all came together to support our children.  I  was filled with pride when State officials from all over New Jersey came to me to congratulate our team and our City.  I have been critical of our Board of Education when necessary but last night I was thankful for the opportunity to witness the accomplishments of our youth.

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the game, my phone rang a dozen times with folks eager to tell me about the misinformation being presented about the Muhlenberg Project at that very moment.   While 5,000 Plainfielders were working together to support something positive in our community 100 were participating in another kind of event.  The difference in those numbers shows that people know what’s important. I would prefer not to talk about last night’s Third Ward Town Hall Meeting at Cedarbrook School, when on the same night our kids took part in a chance to make history for the City of Plainfield and the State of New Jersey.  But people have decided to focus on other concerns.

Two meetings this week, the Third Ward Town Hall meeting, and the special Council meeting on Monday regarding the PMUA involved political grand standing on problems without bringing us closer to solutions.  I will have no take part in that sort of theatre.  Both meetings were filled with misinformation given to the public which will only make real solutions more difficult to find.

After Monday’s meeting, I’ve reached out to professionals in sewage and waste industies and to various Departments of the State of New Jersey to get information pertaining to our PMUA issues so that the City of Plainfield can make the right decision.  I have reached out to them to give us guidance on the best approach for the City.  It takes a community to correct the obvious problems that PMUA presents us with. Playing politics is not the answer. As an elected official in Plainfield, I owe it to the city to do the best I can to help resolve this issue. I hope to put together a task force of professionals from throughout the state to deal with this issue and work to a true solution.

After participating in the meetings that led to Muhlenberg’s closing, I expected misinformation from Tuesday’s meeting. I forwarded the Solaris proposal to the Mayor and the Council because it is their decision whether this project moves forward or not. I appreciate that Solaris reached out to me, but I made it clear that I do not make these decisions although I am happy to offer all the assistance I can in this matter.  I have never stopped looking for a hospital to take over the Muhlenberg campus, whether or not it is a non-profit one.  I have not shared everything I am working on with the Mayor or Council, because my only goal is to further the interests of the City and not to provide more ammunition for their pointless political battles.

Councilman Adrian Mapp has forwarded a letter to Assemblywoman Stender and me, in reference to the plans for Muhlenberg.  I have reached out to the Department of Health and other individuals more closely involved with UMDNJ about the prospects of UMDNJ taking over the Muhlenberg campus.  I have also spoken to the Assembly Speaker Oliver about this issue. Instead of being a third party to Councilman Mapp’s concerns, I have spoken to the all the stakeholders and have urged Councilman Mapp to do the same. UMDNJ has financial issues of their own, like a lot of other hospitals throughout the State, and is not interested in getting involved in Muhlenberg.

With so many unresolved issues, perhaps last night’s meeting should have been put on hold and the City of Plainfield could have joined the team and parents in making New Jersey proud of Plainfield.  I will not be a part of grand standing when Plainfield is financially hurting. I cannot make any promises, but I will work to at least provide the public with a clear picture of what needs to be done to move forward. I have been asked to make comments but I have refused to get involved in gossip that will only lead to lawsuits. I will assist in finding solutions without getting involved in petty politics on such serious issues.

P.S.- The meeting yesterday started with over 100 people in attendance, but by the end there was less than 20 people there. It is obvious that the public is tired of this grand standing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Assembly Democrats: NJ’s Middle-Class Needs Property Tax Relief

Prieto, Schaer, Burzichelli, Watson Coleman, Coutinho, Johnson & Wimberly Back Property Tax Relief for Middle-Class & Lower-Income Residents

(NEWARK) – Assembly Democrats released the following statements after they heard testimony during Monday’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing in Newark:
Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen):
“In what has become his calling card, Gov. Christie is again proposing a tax cut that benefits the wealthy the most and ignores the needs of New Jersey’s middle-class and lower income families struggling every day to make ends meet. It’s time Gov. Christie put his national ambitions aside, remember who he was elected to represent and work with us on the Assembly Democratic plan for a 20 percent property tax relief credit to provide real tax relief to residents who need it the most.”
Assembly Budget Vice Chairman Gary Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic):
“The governor continues to place the largest burden on New Jersey’s middle-class and lower income families, first with his 20 percent net property tax increase and now with a tax relief proposal that best serves the wealthy and neglects the needy. Our working families and seniors need relief from our most regressive tax. The governor must readjust his priorities and give New Jerseyans real property tax relief.” 
Assembly Appropriations Chairman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland):
The governor talks about the need for tax relief across the board, yet continues to protect the interests of the rich, while placing the largest burden on middle-class and lower income families in New Jersey. These families are struggling to stay afloat amid the governor’s property tax relief cuts and net 20 percent property tax hike. They are in need of real tax relief and they need it now, governor.”
Assembly Majority Conference Leader Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen):
We agree with Gov. Christie that tax relief is necessary, but the governor must get on board with the plan that will benefit – not those who already have plenty – but seniors living on fixed incomes and working class residents toiling away every day trying to make it. Our plan for a 20 percent property tax relief credit does that. If the governor cares anything about these residents, he will join us.”
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer):
“Many New Jerseyans are overextending themselves due to soaring property taxes and tax relief cuts by the governor that only help if you’re well-heeled. There is no justification for putting the interests of the wealthy over those of senior citizens, the middle class and the poor. Delivering tax relief, real tax relief which will deliver aid where is most needed, is our priority and should be the priority of the governor.
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex):
“The governor seems more interested in a spending plan that will appeal to a national audience, rather than help working class residents here at home dealing with the strain of his 20 percent net property tax increase. New Jerseyans need real tax relief. A 20 percent property tax relief credit for middle-class and lower-income homeowners provides that.
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic):
“Tax schemes that profit the rich at the expense of the middle-class and poor are flat out wrong. This is not about which side of the aisle we sit on; this is about helping working class residents who are fighting to keep their homes and provide for their families despite heavy net property tax increases. Gov. Christie, let’s give these residents the help they need.” 

Caputo Bill to Crackdown on Burglary Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo to crackdown on burglary was recently approved 69-8-2 by the Assembly.
            The bill (A-1035) upgrades burglary of a residence as a crime of the second degree, and upgrades it to a crime of the first degree if committed while armed.
            Burglary is now punishable as a crime of the second degree if the defendant either was armed or inflicted, attempted to inflict or threatened, bodily injury during the course of the offense.  In all other circumstances, burglary is a crime of the third degree.
            “Residents throughout New Jersey have long had enough with crime, but at least have been able to seek comfort within their own homes,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “Now, all too often, that is even at risk with brazen burglaries. This bill sends a clear message that if you violate the sanctum of someone’s home, you’re going to face real and tough penalties.”
            A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between three to five years, a fine not to exceed $15,000 or both.  A crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between five to 10 years, a fine not to exceed $150,000 or both.
            “A person who commits the upgraded first degree crime of burglarizing a residence while armed would be sentenced under No Early Release Act,” said Caputo. “Under that, persons convicted  are required to serve a minimum term of at least 85 percent of the sentence imposed.”
            The bill will be referred to the Senate for more consideration.

Conaway, Benson, Tucker & Singleton Bill to Increase Allowances Paid to Disabled Veterans Approved by Assembly

TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Herb Conaway M.D., Daniel R. Benson, Cleopatra Tucker and Troy Singleton to increase for the first time in decades the allowance paid to veterans with wartime service-connected disabilities was recently approved 79-0 by the Assembly.
            The state pays an annual allowance to soldiers and veterans with wartime service-connected disabilities. 
            A blind veteran has received $750 annually under the Blind Veterans’ Allowance Program since 1971. 
            A veteran with other described disabilities has received $750 annually under the Paraplegic and Hemiplegic Veterans’ Allowance Program since 1981.
              This bill (A-2184) increases these payments to $1,200.
            “We need to more appropriately assist permanently disabled veterans suffering from catastrophic injuries incurred defending our freedom,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “It’s been too long since they were provided an increase to help meet their needs.”
            “It’s hard to conceive that veterans have gone without an increase for so long,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Everything else has become much more expensive. We need to do all we can to help these heroes during these difficult economic times.”
            “Veterans deserve the best we can give them, and this increase is the right thing to do,” said Tucker (D-Essex), who chairs the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee that released the bill. “This is a start toward providing a more helpful allowance to those who have sacrificed their health and quality of life to protect our freedom.”
            “Our veterans quite simply deserve better,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Leaving these allowances unchanged for 30 and 40 years was wrong, but we’re now headed in the right direction for the benefit of the brave and courageous veterans who defended liberty and freedom.”
            The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Caputo Bill to Monitor Toxic Air Levels at Indoor Skating Rinks Approved by Assembly

Legislation Prompted By Recent Reports of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings

            (TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Ralph Caputo following reports about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning at indoor ice skating rinks was approved Thursday by the Assembly.
            The bill (A-186) would establish a carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide air quality testing and certification program for ice arenas. The program would be implemented by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
            “Carbon monoxide poisoning can have serious long-term consequences and can even prove fatal in some cases,” said Caputo (D-Essex).  “For young people and athletes who are inhaling large quantities of air, it can prove especially dangerous.  The last thing we need is to be putting children at risk of developing long-term health problems when there are easy ways to help detect carbon monoxide and avoid exposure.”
Reports have profiled the short and long-term dangers of carbon monoxide inhalation at ice skating rinks. 
In one story, a 14-year-old boy ended up in the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after competing in a hockey game. In another profile, a woman who skated from the time she was a young girl eventually ended her career with the Ice Capades after developing debilitating carbon monoxide related lung disease, neurological and memory problems.
Reuters also reported that high levels of carbon monoxide sickened more than 60 people at a youth hockey tournament in Colorado. Over the years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also reported a number of mass carbon monoxide poisonings at indoor rinks.
“Carbon monoxide detectors are a simple way to make sure the public’s health is not at risk,” added Caputo. “If they are required in residential rental units, then by all means we should require them in facilities where equipment known to emit the fumes is used.”
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas created by the combustion of carbon-based fuels.  Symptoms of CO poisoning can include headache, dizziness, weakness, fainting, vomiting and confusion. High levels of CO in the body can cause profound central nervous system effects, coma and death. Over time, CO exposure can cause neurological, heart, lung and brain damage.
Presently, three other states - Minnesota, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – have laws mandating that ice rinks monitor their air quality.
The bill was approved 47-26-5 and will be referred to the Senate.

Conaway, McKeon, Ramos & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Combat Illegal Steroid Use Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., John McKeon, Ruben Ramos, Jr., and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to crackdown on illegal steroid abuse in New Jersey's law enforcement and firefighting communities was approved Thursday by the full Assembly.
The legislation comes after an extensive series by The Star-Ledger revealed widespread steroid abuse in police and fire departments.  In one case, at least 248 officers and firefighters reportedly obtained prescriptions for these drugs from a single Jersey City doctor.
The bill (A-1827), which was approved by the Assembly with a 79-0 vote, would require the Department of Law and Public Safety to include human growth hormones among the drugs to be monitored in the state's Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
The PMP was created in 2007 to monitor controlled dangerous substances dispensed in most outpatient settings.
“This steroid abuse is frightening from both a public policy and public health perspective,” said Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). “Taxpayers have been stung and public safety has been put at risk, as has the health of the abusers. We cannot sit idly by and let this abuse continue. This bill is a step in the proper direction.”
 “State taxpayers have been wrongly paying for millions of dollars in insurance costs for prescriptions that were, in many cases, issued illegally,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “Taxpayers also have been footing the bill for the side effects of this abuse. It's long past time for this outrage to finally stop. Taxpayers and public safety deserve better.”
Human growth hormone is not a controlled dangerous substance under federal and state laws. Therefore, prescriptions for human growth hormones would not be monitored as a matter of course under the PMP.
However, the program’s Director is authorized to expand the program to monitor drugs such as human growth hormones after a lengthy and protracted process.  The process requires that the director initially determine that the drug should be monitored, taking into consideration various factors, including potential for abuse, scientific evidence or its pharmacological effects, history and current patterns of abuse, and the risk to the public health.  The director is then required to monitor the drug on a temporary basis, after which the director has the discretion to permanently add the drug to the monitoring program, which must follow the regulatory process of publication in the New Jersey Register.
In light of the investigations that have revealed significant abuses in the use of human growth hormones throughout New Jersey that pose a risk to the public’s  health and safety, this bill is intended to ensure that human growth hormones are added to the monitoring program as soon as possible.
“It's bad enough that this abuse has been costing the taxpayers of this state millions of dollars,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “But law enforcement officers susceptible to ‘roid rage’ pose a grave danger to the public safety. This measure will increase accountability and awareness and send a message that this behavior must stop.”
 “Steroid abuse often comes with increased aggression, so this illegal activity by those assigned to protect our safety has been costly to taxpayers and put people at risk,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).  “It cannot continue. This bill will prevent abuse, save taxpayers money and hopefully lead to these abusers getting the help they need before it’s too late.”

Benson & Moriarty Bill to Help Prevent Consumers from Getting Roped Into Endless Contracts Advancing Toward Law

(TRENTON) – A consumer protection measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson and Paul Moriarty was approved Monday by the Assembly, moving New Jersey closer to requiring notification to customers when a contract is to be automatically renewed.
“So many highly-used services out there today include automatic renewal clauses in their contracts,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex).  “In an era of paperless billing and automatic charges to credit cards or bank accounts, consumers often get perpetually roped into extended and costly contracts. By requiring these terms to be clearly displayed and advance notice before renewal, this bill will give consumers the opportunity to make more informed choices for themselves.”
This bill (A-1585) establishes notification standards regarding service contracts that contain automatic renewal provisions. A service contract is defined as a written contract for the performance of service, maintenance or repair over a fixed period of time in connection with real property.
“Sometimes contracts are entered into a year, or even two years, before the automatic renewal clause kicks in,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden).  “This bill will protect consumers by ensuring that they have the opportunity to cancel any unwanted service prior to renewal of an additional term.”
The bill was approved 72-6 and will be referred to the Senate for more consideration.

Wagner, Coughlin, Fuentes & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Promote Electric Car Usage Continues Advancing

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democratic legislation sponsored by Connie Wagner, Craig J. Coughlin, Angel Fuentes and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to promote electric vehicle usage by providing corporation business tax credit and gross income tax credits for buying and installing electric vehicle charging stations was recently approved by the Assembly.
The bill (A-566) was Ok’d by a vote of 54-20-5.
            “It’s clear that electric cars can play a lead role in tackling some of our biggest concerns, whether it be our reliance on foreign oil or environmental and health concerns,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “This bill will help steer New Jersey in the right direction.”
            “We should be doing all we can to promote electric car usage and purchases in New Jersey,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This bill isn’t a cure-all, but it’s certainly a great stride toward making New Jersey a friendly state for electric cars, and that’s a great thing.”
            “We’ve heard all too often about the serious health concerns facing many children in congested urban areas, and we know some of that comes from exhaust pollution,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This bill will finally push our state in the right direction toward making it easier to buy and use electric cars.”
            “This is a sensible and response way to promote the purchases of electric cars in New Jersey, which helps our economy and environment,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “This is a great start toward a smart future for New Jersey.”
            Under the bill, charging stations purchased and installed in 2013 will be allowed a credit in an amount of 25 percent of the cost, up to $500 per electric vehicle charging station; for a charging station purchased and installed in 2014 the credit is 15 percent of the cost, up to $300 per charging station; and for a charging station purchased and installed in 2015 the credit is eight percent of the cost, up to $150 per station.
            The bill also provides a gross income tax credit for a charging station purchase that is not required to be for business use.  The credit for 2013 is 25 percent of cost, up to $500, for 2014 it’s 15 percent of cost, up to $300 and for 2015 it’s 8 percent of cost, up to $150, for the purchase and installation of a charging station. 
            To qualify for the bill’s tax credits the taxpayer must file an application for a certification with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection that the charging station purchased and installed by the taxpayer is a qualified electric vehicle charging station.
            The bill will be referred to the Senate for more consideration.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vainieri Huttle on Final Legislative Approval to Provide NJ Schools With $1 Million to Help Implement Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle issued a multimedia package Thursday on her legislation – approved 72-2-3 – to help New Jersey schools fully comply with the recently enacted landmark Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, sponsored by Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), was signed into law in January 2011 and went into effect in September, with the start of the new school year.  In late January, the state Council on Local Mandates ruled that the law contained unfunded mandates, following complaints from several school districts.  The council gave the Legislature 60 days to remedy the law or risk having it invalidated.
Vainieri Huttle’s remedy legislation (A-2709) – a bipartisan measure supported by the Christie administration – would provide $1 million in funding for the remainder of the school year, to be awarded as grants through the state Department of Education, to help districts provide training or harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention, the effective creation of positive school climates and to help fund related personnel expenses.  The grant monies would only be awarded after a school district demonstrates that they have exhausted all bullying prevention programs and approaches that are available at no cost.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Vainieri Huttle’s remarks and public testimony in support of her legislation and audio and a transcript of same.
The video can be accessed directly via our website – – or by pasting the following link into a Web browser:
The audio file is appended to the email as an attachment.
A transcript of comments by Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle is appended below:

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Assembly Human Services Committee Chairwoman:
                “This legislation today is to save the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights and allow New Jersey to remain a national leader and fight against harassment, intimidation and bullying.
                “The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was signed into law in January of 2011; implemented in this past school year.  It has been in effect for a few months and a small school district went to the Council on Local Mandates, to appeal that it was an unfunded mandate.  The Council on Local Mandates gave the Legislature 60 days to find remedies and ways to keep the law intact.
                “And what we did in a bipartisan way was, we found $1 million in the general fund for this year to provide any of the school districts, after exhausting their free resources with training, some extra tools to implement the law.  We also created a task force, a seven-member task-force, that would also provide the districts some clarification and guidelines.
                “And we are hoping that with this latest bill, that it will continue to help enhance the law that’s in effect and the law is intact.  So, we’re thrilled that we could offer some of those extra resources.”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Democratic Bill Package to Bridge Gender Wage Gap Gets Green Light from Assembly Panel

Lampitt, Riley, Moriarty, Fuentes Measures Will Help Empower Employees to Fight
Wage Discrimination

(TRENTON) – The Assembly Labor Committee on Monday approved a package of bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley, Paul Moriarty, and Angel Fuentes to help bridge the gender pay equity gap and fight discrimination in the workplace.
The slightly amended measures, which had previously been approved by the Assembly Women and Children Committee last week, would require employers to inform workers of their rights to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay; lengthen the statute of limitations for employees to take action against unlawful compensation practices; prohibit employer retaliation if an employee divulges certain job information; and require state contractors to file information on the employees they hire.
“Unfortunately, we know all too well from the hearing we held recently that gender wage discrimination is alive and well in the 21st century,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington), Chair of the Assembly Women and Children Committee.  “Hopefully by empowering employees with knowledge of their rights and holding employers more accountable, we can chip away the remaining fragments of the glass ceiling.”
The sponsors noted that, according to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, women still earn roughly 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, with the gender income gap highest in higher paying occupations.  Furthermore, minority women fare significantly worse with median earnings for African American and Hispanic women working full-time, year-round far less compared to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
            The first bill (A-2647), sponsored by Lampitt, Riley and Moriarty, would require every employer in New Jersey to notify employees of their right to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or other terms or conditions of employment under the state’s “Law Against Discrimination.”  In doing so, employers would be required to post a form proscribed by the Commissioner of Labor and Workplace Development in a place accessible to all workers in each of the employer’s workplaces.
The bill would also require that every employer provide each worker with a written copy of the notification: not later than 30 days after the form of the notification is issued by the commissioner; at the time of the worker’s hiring, if the worker is hired after the issuance; and at any time, upon the first request of the worker.  The employer would also have to make the notification available by email, printed material such as a paycheck insert, and through an Internet website. 
Employees would also have to sign an acknowledgment that they have been made aware of their rights.
“It’s almost mind boggling to think that women today still face some of the same discrimination in the workplace that they did 100 years ago,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).  “Any woman that is as equally educated or qualified as a man should be entitled to equal compensation for the same job, plain and simple.”
The second bill (A-2648), sponsored by Fuentes, Lampitt & Riley, would prohibit employer retaliation against any employee who discloses to any other employee, former employee, or their authorized representative, certain information such as the job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation (including benefits), or the gender, race or other characteristics of the employee or former employee if the disclosure was made for the purpose of investigating the possibility of pay or compensation discrimination.
“Putting a gag order on employees enables employers to continue discriminatory compensation practices because they can operate behind a cloak of secrecy,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester).  “Employees shouldn’t face threats for willingly sharing information about their own job, especially in the name of pay equity.”
The third bill (A-2649), sponsored by Lampitt, Riley and Moriarty, would require any employer who contracts with the state or a state agency to report to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development information regarding the gender, race, job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation, including benefits, of every employee they employ in New Jersey in connection with the contracts, and provide updates of the information. 
The commissioner would be required to retain the information and make it available to the Division of Civil Rights in the Department of Law and Public Safety, and, upon request, provide it to anyone who is or was an employee of the employer during the period of the contracts, or any authorized representative of the employee.  However, the bill prohibits the disclosure by the commissioner of the identity of the employee or representative making the request.
The last bill (A-2650), sponsored by Lampitt, Riley and Moriarty, would help employees fight unlawful employment practices within the work place, particularly when it comes to pay discrimination.  The bill mirrors language in the federal “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009,” which clarified, under various federal anti-discrimination laws, that an unlawful discriminatory compensation decision occurs each time wages, benefits, or other compensation are paid to an individual.
“While the Lily Ledbetter Act fell short of establishing true gender pay equity, it did give employees greater power to fight pay discrimination in the work place,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester).  “Until we achieve true pay parity, this is a law that we should have on our books in New Jersey as well.”
Essentially, the provision would “restart” the applicable statute of limitations governing discriminatory compensation claims under the “Law Against Discrimination,” effectively making each paycheck another instance of the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice and therefore a new or continuing violation.  Under current law, the statute of limitations is two years.
The measures now await consideration by the full Assembly.