Assembly Budget Committee to Consider Department of Transportation, NJ Transit & Motor Vehicle Commission SpendingThe Assembly Budget Committee will meet on Monday to take testimony from the Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and the Motor Vehicle Commission.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in Committee Room 11 of the 4th Floor of the State House Annex in Trenton...
Prieto Statement on GWB Guilty Plea & IndictmentsAssembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement on Friday:
"This is a troubling day for New Jersey.
"A former top state official has pled guilty, with two others indicted. These are deeply concerning, though those indicted are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I have full faith in the justice system to resolve this matter appropriately, and I hope the process produces answers for the people of New Jersey..."
Eustace & Lagana Statement on GWB Guilty Plea & IndictmentsAssemblymen Tim Eustace and Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic) issued the following statement on Friday:
"The September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closures put the residents of Fort Lee, drivers within Bergen County and commuters from across the state in danger without a known legitimate cause. A thorough pursuit of justice on their behalf requires that the authority figures who allegedly were involved go through the same legal process as anyone believed to have endangered the public welfare. ..."
Vainieri Huttle Says U.S. Attorney’s Actions Underscore Need to Pass New Port Authority ReformsAssemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), a member of the Legislative Select Committee on Investigation who represents the town of Fort Lee in the General Assembly, released the following statement on Friday's actions by the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey:
"Today's announcement confirms our worst fears about the Port Authority. Whether it's wasting taxpayer dollars or threatening public safety, the Port Authority has run amok for far too long. The rampant abuse of power that has long been reported underscores the urgency for reforms.
Wisniewski Statement on GWB Guilty Plea & Indictments"Gov. Christie is unable to run a bridge, let alone take on any higher responsibility"
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), whose work as Assembly transportation committee chairman led to the revelations the Port Authority and Christie administration closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, and co-chair of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, released the following statement on Friday:
"These indictments and the guilty plea of Mr. Wildstein represent a major step toward justice for the people of New Jersey…"
Johnson: Abuse of Power in GWB Lane Closures Affirmed(TRENTON) - Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D- Bergen) released the following statement:
"From the very beginning it was clear that the GWB lane closures were an evident abuse of power by the members of this Administration's top staff. That's now been doubly affirmed by Mr. Wildstein's guilty plea. As for the indictments, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but hopefully in the coming weeks and months we will finally learn how far up the staffing ladder this went.
McKeon: Christie Administration Failure to Produce Exxon Documents Displays Lack of TransparencyAssemblyman Plans to File OPRA Request for Demand Letters, Damage Summaries & Expert Reports
Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), Assembly Judiciary Committee chair and Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee vice-chair, issued the following statement Friday after Christie administration officials failed to honor his request for summaries of the environmental damage sustained at 16 Exxon Mobil Corp. facilities subject to a proposed $225 million settlement with the company, copies of 12 expert reports submitted by both the state and Exxon at trial and demand letters for all natural resources damage litigation initiated by the state since 2004:
"The fact that we now must file a formal request under the Open Public Records Act to obtain basic information brings forth serious concerns about the reasons for this evasiveness. …"
Greenwald Statement on GWB Lane Closure Guilty Plea & IndictmentsAssembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) issued the following statement Friday:
"Today is a sad day for New Jersey.
"The decision to close the lanes was not only petty, reckless and dangerous but also represented an egregious abuse of power and a betrayal of the public trust. Today's proceedings represent a starting point of accountability for who perpetrated these outrageous actions on the people of New Jersey…"
Wimberly: Let's protect our children's futuresAssemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) had the following published recently in the Herald News:
"Armoni [Sexton] was the latest of three children mercilessly gunned down in Paterson over the last nine months. Their promising futures cut devastatingly short by stray bullets.
"The threat of violence looms over neighborhoods, forcing residents to live under siege. It is a burden urban communities have carried for far too long. For the families shattered by gun violence, the burden is even greater.
"To mend New Jersey's communities, some solutions are blatantly obvious. Funding education more than just efficiently but sufficiently is certainly a good place to begin. Give educators the funding they need to engage students and prepare them for college or work..."
Eustace, Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Lagana & Caride Legislation to Encourage Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs Becomes LawLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Timothy Eustace, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana and Marlene Caride to provide a safe way for New Jersey residents to dispose of prescription drugs was signed into law on Wednesday.
"Disposing of unused prescription drugs properly is equally as important as taking them as prescribed," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Prescription drug abuse is prevalent in many communities, and much of that abuse begins at home where the drugs are easily accessible."
Vainieri Huttle, Gordon & Weinberg Step Up Battle for Port Authority ReformsAssemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Senator Bob Gordon and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (all D-Bergen) are preparing a Port Authority reform bill that will add mission and management reforms to the tough ethics and disclosure standards proposed in their previous legislation that was vetoed by Governor Christie.
"The new bill will also modify the senior management structure to provide for a unified chain of command, and a mechanism to assure that each state has equal influence in policy making and budget decisions," Vainieri Huttle said. "The sponsors from both states have just begun to evaluate the various organizational options and are conferring with outside experts."
Wimberly Questions Lack of Hurricane Irene Relief Spending in Passaic CountyAssemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) released the following statement after questioning the acting Department of Community Affairs commissioner about problems with Hurricane Irene relief funding at Wednesday's Assembly Budget Committee hearing:
"I'm deeply troubled to hear that much of the Irene money for Passaic County apparently still hasn't been spent nearly four years after the storm. I was even more troubled when I could get no clear answer from the Christie administration as to why the money hasn't been spent. And this is with the state receiving close to $780,000 to administer the money..."
Burzichelli: Property Tax Relief Clearly Not a Priority for Christie AdministrationAssemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) released the following statement after questioning the acting Department of Community Affairs commissioner about problems with property tax relief during Wednesday's Assembly Budget Committee hearing:
"Considering how the net property tax bill has risen 30.7 percent under Gov. Christie, I suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone that property tax relief is not a priority of this administration. Still, I'm surprised at the lack of clear answers from the administration on property tax relief..."
Singleton: Lack of Clear Sandy Relief Answers by Christie Administration TroublingChristie Administration Unable to Clearly Update Relief Efforts
Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) released the following statement after questioning the acting Department of Community Affairs commissioner about problems with Superstorm Sandy relief funding at Wednesday's Assembly Budget Committee hearing:
"The inability of the Christie administration to answer basic questions about Sandy relief is very troubling. It's no wonder so many residents are so frustrated. I fear the Christie administration doesn't have a grasp of where the relief effort even stands at this point..."
Eustace, Mazzeo & Lagana Introduce Bill to Create Small Business Action Center
Bill Would Establish the "Small Business Action Center" under the EDA(TRENTON) - Assembly members Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo and Joseph Lagana have introduced legislation that would create the Small Business Action Center (SBAC) within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to serve as a direct resource for small businesses with less than 50 employees.
"These operations may be small in size, however, their businesses are a vital part of New Jersey's economic engine," said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). "The Small Business Action Center will be dedicated to ensuring the success of small businesses as an important component in fostering a healthy state economy."
Johnson, Eustace, Caride, Muoio, Vainieri Huttle & Lagana Introduce Bill Requiring Contingency Plan for Trains Carrying Hazardous Material through NJ
Bill stems from 2012 Paulsboro train derailment and chemical spillTo ensure a quick and coordinated response in case of an accident, Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Tim Eustace, Marlene Caride, Elizabeth Muoio, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Joseph Lagana have introduced a bill that would require owners of trains carrying hazardous material through the state to prepare and submit to the state a response, cleanup and contingency plan.
The bill is in response to the 2012 Conrail train derailment in Paulsboro. One of the cars breached spilling vinyl chloride -- a carcinogenic gas used in making PVC plastics -- into the atmosphere. More than 200 homes in the 2.2-square-mile town were evacuated following the incident. For More
Caride, Mosquera, Pinkin & Moriarty Bill to Help Law Enforcement Combat Opioid Epidemic Now LawLegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Marlene Caride, Gabriela Mosquera, Nancy Pinkin and Paul Moriarty to help law enforcement better coordinate efforts to combat the state's growing opioid epidemic has been signed into law.
"As we've seen from many reports, the opioid epidemic is not confined to any particular area or demographic," said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). "It crosses urban and suburban boundaries, as well as race, class and many other sectors. Giving law enforcement the tools to coordinate their efforts is a critical part of the statewide strategy to combat this epidemic."
Excerpts from McKeon Questioning of NJ DEP Commissioner on ExxonMobil Settlement
McKeon, Pintor Marin Discuss the Need to Further Examine PARCC Implementation in NJ
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