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(TRENTON) – The Assembly on Thursday will vote to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of legislation to create jobs and boost the economy through a state homebuyer’s tax credit and consider legislation to reform property taxes, permit advertising on school buses to generate money for schools, boost small businesses and provide more tools to combat drug offenders.
The session is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the Assembly Chamber in the State House in Trenton.
It will be streamed live at
The state homebuyer tax credit bill (A-1678) passed the Legislature on June 10, but Christie vetoed it on July 23.
“The opportunity to kick start New Jersey’s economic recovery was knocking, but Gov. Christie slammed the door in its face,” said Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), the bill’s prime sponsor. “This tax credit would have immediately put people back to work, spurred economic activity for businesses and revived our housing market, but we now have a chance to fix this through the veto override.”
The bill would establish a three-year, $100 million New Jersey Homebuyer Tax Credit Program under the New Jersey gross income tax for home purchases made within a year of the bill’s enactment. It passed 67-8 in the Assembly and 38-0 in the Senate.
Two Assembly Democratic property tax reform bills to attack unfunded state mandates that drive up property taxes will also be considered.
“Unfunded mandates like these have helped shove New Jersey property taxes to unacceptable levels,” said Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), who sponsors the bills. “With these changes, we will bring real savings to property taxpayers without spending a dime, simply by easing mandates that no longer serve a purpose or are simply too burdensome.”
The bills would:
· Allow more groups to file complaints against unfunded state mandates (A-3204).
· Save municipalities money by revising master plan re-examination requirements (A-3272).
“This is a sensible step toward a more affordable New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-Essex/Bergen/Passaic), who authored the A-3204 bill over the summer as part of the ongoing Assembly Democratic property tax reform efforts. “Allowing more groups to challenge these mandates will lead to a more accountable system that hopefully will lead the state to think twice about the cost of some of these costly regulations. That can only help keep property taxes in check.”
The Assembly will also vote on legislation (A-1637) sponsored by Assemblywomen Connie Wagner and Joan Voss (both D-Bergen) to allow ads on school buses to help schools boost revenue. The bill would allow school districts to sell advertising space on the exterior sides of school buses owned or leased by the school district.
“With other states generating as much as $1,000 per bus, this bill is designed to increase revenue for school districts to provide needed services,” Wagner said. “With schools everywhere at a loss for state aid, and cuts being felt as classes get underway again, this is an easy way for schools to generate additional revenue to help keep programs running and activity fees to a minimum.”
Also on tap is legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Upendra Chivukula and John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) to cut through the bureaucracy strangling New Jersey small businesses.
The bill (A-2129) would revise the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act to force the state when implementing a new regulation to minimize the rule’s impact on small businesses so long as the public health, safety, or general welfare is not endangered.
“Untangling red tape for all businesses is a priority, and I’m enthused that we’ve been moving forward on that goal, but small businesses in particular are hit hard by the bureaucracy that can strangle their ability to create jobs,” said Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex). “This is a key step toward helping small businesses avoid getting roped into a morass of red tape.”
The Assembly will also consider a bill sponsored by Assemblymen Angel Fuentes and Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and Sen. Donald Norcross (all D-Camden/Gloucester) to give law enforcement enhanced tools to effectively combat drug crime.
The bill (A-2416) sponsored by the 5th Legislative District legislators would give a law enforcement officer or prosecuting attorney, under certain circumstances, the ability to apply for a restraining order against person who charged with a criminal offense but released without being detained.
This would fill a gap in the current system and would allow the authorities to prevent an individual from returning to the scene where the offense occurred, as well as a buffer around that area. The sponsors said it would especially help combat drug crimes.
“It is too easy for individuals being charged with a crime, particularly crimes related to drugs and drug violence, to return to the same places and people that facilitate this behavior,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). “If we want to stop a drug dealer from harming our community, we cannot just work to take away their product. We also want to take away the street corner, the school yard and the store front where they push their poison on our children and our vulnerable.”
“This is a needed change,” said Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester). “A drug dealer needs access to users, and by denying them their usual haunts and removing them from their comfort zone, we force them into the light and send a message that we won’t tolerate the evil they bring to our neighborhoods. We won’t stand idly.”
“We must give law enforcement the tools they need to keep our streets clean,” said Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Drug dealers don’t care about the communities they harm, the lives they ruin, and the violence they bring to our neighborhoods. Every street corner we take away from a drug dealer is a street corner we reclaim for honest, hardworking citizens.”
A copy of the full Assembly agenda can be found at: