DEMOCRATIC PLAN TO SAVE SENIOR CITIZENS FROM CHRISTIE TAX & FEE HIKES TOPS THURSDAY ASSEMBLY AGENDA

HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT, UI FUND FIX & PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM HARASSING DEBT COLLECTORS ALSO ON TAP
Teen Driving Law Study, Making N.J. Horse Racing Viable for 2010 Also on Up

(TRENTON) – The Democratic legislation to protect senior citizens from Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to increase their prescription drug fees and slash their property tax relief tops Thursday’s Assembly voting session.

Also on tap is the legislation to provide a New Jersey homebuyer tax credit for 2010, protect consumers from harassing debt collectors and stave off a massive unemployment fund tax on businesses.

Bills to study the state’s newly implemented teen driving laws, make New Jersey horse racing viable for 2010, combat bedbugs and promote bringing the Super Bowl to New Jersey are also up during the 1 p.m. session.

The session will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

The legislation (A-20) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Linda Greenstein and Celeste Riley would eliminate Christie’s plan to hit senior and disabled citizens with increased prescription drug fees and slash their property tax relief. It would restore property tax rebates and eliminate Christie’s prescription drug fees for more than 600,000 senior and disabled residents.

An analysis prepared last month by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services reported that under the Christie plan, a retired couple living on a fixed income of $40,000 would see a $1,320 increase in taxes while a family making $1.2 million would receive a tax cut of $11,598.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union) sponsor the legislation (A-10) to restore the millionaire’s tax surcharge to fund the restorations.

Also on tap is legislation sponsored by Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) and Assemblymen Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) to establish a New Jersey Homebuyer Tax Credit Program for home purchases during 2010.

Assemblymen John J. Burzichelli, Matthew W. Milam (D-Cumberland/Cape May/Atlantic), Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex) and Moriarty are sponsoring the bill (A-1700) to combat unscrupulous debt collection practices. The New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act would eliminate abusive debt collection practices and provide consumers a way to dispute and validate debt information to ensure its accuracy.

Also on tap is legislation (A-2624) sponsored by Assemblymen Joseph Egan (D-Middlesex/Somerset) and Nelson Albano (D-Cumberland/Cape May/ Atlantic) to reduce employer unemployment taxes during the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The legislation (A-2740) sponsored by Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Spencer, Elease Evans (D-Passaic/Bergen), Burzichelli and Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester) would examine the recent changes to New Jersey’s graduated license program – including the controversial teen driver decal requirement.

Burzichelli is sponsoring the bill (A-2507) to keep thoroughbred racing viable in New Jersey for 2010 by scheduling fewer races but with increased purses.

The legislation (A-2072) Assemblywomen Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) and L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) sponsored to provide additional tools for landlords and tenants to address bedbug infestations is also on tap. The sponsors crafted the legislation after news reports detailed severe outbreaks of bedbugs in several Hudson County apartment complexes. In these instances, the tenants, some of whom had nothing to do with the initial infestation, were being charged for extermination.

Also up is resolution sponsored by Assembly members Annette Quijano (D-Union), Gary S. Schaer, Fred Scalera (both D-Passaic/Bergen/Essex) and Ralph R. Caputo (D-Essex) urging the National Football League (NFL) to choose the new football stadium being completed in the Meadowlands as the site of Super Bowl XLVIII.

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