Category Archives: Uncategorized

Governor Cuts Direct Aid to Schools, but Champions Tax Breaks for Wealthy. What’s wrong with this picture?

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> From: “Loayza, Eva” > Date: April 23, 2012 3:57:06 PM EDT > Subject: Prieto: Governor Cuts Direct Aid to Schools, but Champions Tax Breaks for Wealthy. What’s wrong with this picture? > > > News from > Assemblyman Prieto > > For Release: > April 23, 2012 > Assemblyman Vincent Prieto > Budget Committee Chairman > p: 201-770-1303 > e: AsmPrieto@njleg.org > www.assemblydems.com > > Prieto: Governor Cuts Direct Aid to Schools, but Champions Tax Breaks for Wealthy. What’s wrong with this picture? > > > (TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) issued the following statement Monday concerning cuts in direct school aid under Gov. Christie’s proposed budget following the Assembly Budget Hearing: > > “We entrust school districts with the education of our children, yet under the current administration, the resources they are getting to meet this responsibility keeps shrinking. > “The increase in school aid claimed by the governor is nothing more than clever smoke-screening. Truth is, the amount of direct aid going to schools under his proposed budget is still much less than what was allocated two years ago. This means less money for districts to hire more teachers, purchase classroom supplies and reduce classroom sizes – all crucial components to student success. > “Short-changing school districts, while vigorously defending tax breaks for millionaires makes no sense. Surely even a fifth-grader can recognize the wrong in this scenario. Selling out the education of New Jersey students to appease a national Republican audience and ideal is disgraceful. > “At the end of the day, while the governor keeps going on national stages, the people of New Jersey must deal with his property tax increases here at home.” > > On The Net:

Governor’s Must Finally Support Access to Quality Health Care for Working Class Families

 
 
———-Original Message———-

From: “Hester, Tom”
Date: Apr 18, 2012 1:26:20 PM
Subject: Prieto: Governor’s Must Finally Support Access to Quality Health Care for Working Class Families
 

News from

Assemblyman Prieto

For Release:
April 18, 2012

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto

Budget Committee Chairman

p: 201-770-1303

e: AsmPrieto@njleg.org

www.assemblydems.com

 

Prieto: Governor’s Must Finally Support Access to Quality Health Care for Working Class Families

 

(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Wednesday after the Assembly Budget Committee heard from the Department of Health and Senior Services:

 

“The department claims one of its main goals is to optimize access to the highest quality health care for the people of New Jersey, but unfortunately the governor’s record sadly says otherwise.

“Millionaires have zealously had their tax breaks protected by this governor, but New Jerseyans struggling to make ends meet have watched as the governor:

·         Eliminated funding for family planning;

·         Froze FamilyCare enrollment for adults;

·         Reduced personal care attendant reimbursement rates;

·         Increased co-payments for Early Intervention Services;

·         Reduced funding for cancer research;

·         Eliminated funding for the Rapid AIDS test;

·         Reduced reimbursement to nursing homes;

·         Reduced reimbursement to Special Care Nursing Facilities; and

·         Reduced reimbursement rates for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

“Clearly, optimizing access to quality health care for working class residents is not a priority of this governor. I thank the commissioner for testifying today, but the governor’s poor record when it comes to providing access to quality health care sadly speaks for itself. It’s even worse when you consider these are the same families who have endured the net 20 percent property tax hike realized under this governor.

“It’s time for the governor to change course and finally support access to quality health care for working class families.”

 

On The Net:


Cunningham Statement on Announcement of Barchi to Succeed McCormack as Rutgers President

 
 
———-Original Message———-

From: “Roderer, Alise”
Date: Apr 11, 2012 12:41:27 PM
Subject: Cunningham Statement on Announcement of Barchi to Succeed McCormack as Rutgers President
To: “Roderer, Alise” <ARoderer@njleg.org>
 

New Jersey Senate Democrats

 

FOR RELEASE:

 

CONTACT:

April 11, 2012

 

Alise Roderer

 

 

(609) 847-3700

 

CUNNINGHAM STATEMENT ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF BARCHI TO SUCCEED McCORMICK AS RUTGERS PRESIDENT

 

 

TRENTON –; Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson, Chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, made the following statement regarding the announcement of Dr. Robert Barchi being named the 20th President of Rutgers University:

“I am pleased with the appointment of Dr. Barchi to head Rutgers University.  During this time of transition for New Jersey’s higher education system, I am confident that Dr. Barchi will be an advocate for the students, faculty and staff of Rutgers.

“With the expected acquisition of Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the School of Public Health by Rutgers University, Dr. Barchi’s knowledge and experience as a neurologist, a professor and researcher in the medical field, and most recently the President of Thomas Jefferson University, one of the nation’s most respected health science universities, will prove to be a great asset to Rutgers.

“Additionally Dr. Barchi bears an excellent record as a successful fundraiser at Thomas Jefferson University and as a strong academic advocate as Provost of the University of Pennsylvania – skills that will help Rutgers to continue its tradition as a public higher education institution with a national reputation for excellence.  

“I thank Dr. Richard McCormick for his years of dedication to Rutgers University, and I look forward to working with Dr. Barchi in the months and years ahead as we strive to provide an even more sound and successful public university system here in New Jersey.”;

 

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Continued Questions on Christie Medicaid Plan ‘Extremely Concerning’

 
 
———-Original Message———-

From: “Hester, Tom”
Date: Apr 4, 2012 2:13:10 PM
Subject: Prieto: Continued Questions on Christie Medicaid Plan ‘Extremely Concerning’
 

News from

Assemblyman Prieto

For Release:
April 4, 2012

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto

Budget Committee Chairman

p: 201-770-1303

e: AsmPrieto@njleg.org

www.assemblydems.com

 

Prieto: Continued Questions on Christie Medicaid Plan ‘Extremely Concerning’

 

(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Wednesday on continued questions surrounding the Christie administration’s still-unapproved plan to revise the Medicaid health care program for low-income New Jerseyans:

 

“It’s extremely concerning that the Christie administration is still unable – with just three months left in this fiscal year – to explain in complete detail its plan to revise this health care program vital for so many New Jerseyans.

“We know the full $300 million in savings isn’t going to be realized, and the committee was previously told the loss of the waiver savings wasn’t going to be a problem because other savings would be identified.

“Yet, budget documentation lists $206.7 million in supplemental spending to cover the waiver losses. 

“That’s not identifying other savings. 

“That’s simply requesting more money.

“It’s long past time for the Christie administration to get a better grasp of this situation and provide taxpayers assurances the budget won’t be adversely impacted and that key health care programs will be maintained.”;

 

On The Net:


Christie Budget Ignores Property Tax Problem with Decrease in Municipal Aid

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> From: “Sciortino, Jennifer” > Date: April 2, 2012 11:08:25 AM EDT > Subject: Prieto: Christie Budget Ignores Property Tax Problem with Decrease in Municipal Aid > > > News from > Assemblyman Prieto > > For Release: > April 2, 2012 > Assemblyman Vincent Prieto > Budget Committee Chairman > p: 201-770-1303 > e: AsmPrieto@njleg.org > www.assemblydems.com > > Prieto: Christie Budget Ignores Property Tax Problem with Decrease in Municipal Aid > > (TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson) released the following statement Monday as the committee heard from the Dept. of Community Affairs: > “This budget is a continuation of the Governor’s unnerving silence on the issue of property tax relief in New Jersey. Just because we instituted a 2% cap on the property tax levy does not mean we can declare mission accomplished on the issue. > “The administration has proposed an eight percent increase in spending this year, yet it seeks to cut direct municipal aid while continuing to protect millionaires’ tax breaks. This will leave towns in the lurch once again as they struggle to deal with the rising costs of things such as health benefits with the burden ultimately falling on middle class property taxpayers. > “The residents of this state have seen a 20 percent net increase in their property taxes under Governor Christie due to his cuts in municipal aid and the Homestead rebate program. Clearly more needs to be done. That’s why the governor needs to get behind the Assembly Democratic plan for a 20 percent property tax relief credit.” > > On The Net: > > > > ___________________________ > Jennifer Sciortino > Deputy Director of Communications > NJ Assembly Democratic Majority Office > (P) 609-847-3500 > (E) jsciortino@njleg.org > www.assemblydems.com >

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

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> From: “Loayza, Eva” > Date: March 27, 2012 11:59:17 AM EDT > Subject: Speaker Oliver, Ramos & Caputo Announce Plans for Public Hearings on Gaming in Meadowlands > > > > FOR RELEASE: > > CONTACT: > March 27, 2012 > > Majority Press Office > 609-847-3500 > > 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. > > > On The Net: > >

Prieto Bill Cracking Down On Grave Yard Thefts Gets Assembly Approval

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> From: “Sciortino, Jennifer” > Date: March 23, 2012 10:40:19 AM EDT > Subject: Prieto Bill Cracking Down On Grave Yard Thefts Gets Assembly Approval > > > News from > Assemblyman Prieto > > For Release: > March 23, 2012 > Assemblyman Vincent Prieto > Budget Committee Chairman > p: 201-770-1303 > e: AsmPrieto@njleg.org > www.assemblydems.com > > Prieto Bill Cracking Down On Grave Yard Thefts Gets Assembly Approval > > (TRENTON) – A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Prieto that would crack down on anyone trying to sell stolen grave markers was approved 79-0 last week by the full Assembly. > “Desecrating the grave of the deceased is one of the lowest forms of theft out there,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “Stealing grave markers is already illegal. But by putting restrictions on the backend, to make it illegal for anyone to purchase these stolen items, it will hopefully curb such theft by making it harder for a thief to profit off of it.” > Prieto noted that the bill was inspired, in part by an incident last summer, where three Cinnaminson women were arrested for allegedly stealing 380 brass markers and flower pots from veterans’ graves and attempting to sell them to a pawn shop owner who tipped off the police. At the time, police noted that the crime is becoming more and more commonplace. > The bill (A-796) would prohibit metal dealers would from receiving or purchasing any scrap metal in the form of a cemetery, grave, or historical marker or plaque unless the person delivering or selling the scrap metal has shown that the local police department or State Police certified the metal for removal, sale, or disposal. > As with other violations of the laws pertaining to scrap metal dealers, first and second violations of the bill’s provisions would be considered disorderly persons offenses and for third and subsequent offenses it would be a crime of the fourth degree. > The law would take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment. The measure now awaits consideration by the Senate. > On The Net: > > > > ___________________________ > Jennifer Sciortino > Deputy Director of Communications > NJ Assembly Democratic Majority Office > (P) 609-847-3500 > (E) jsciortino@njleg.org > www.assemblydems.com >

Jasey, DeAngelo, Tucker, Benson and Ramos Bill to Help 9/11 Veterans Become Teachers Gets Final Legislative Approval

 
 
———-Original Message———-

From: “Loayza, Eva”
Date: Mar 22, 2012 10:27:47 AM
Subject: Jasey, DeAngelo, Tucker, Benson and Ramos Bill to Help 9/11 Veterans Become Teachers Gets Final Legislative Approval
 

                                                                                                                                                                                  

FOR RELEASE:

 

CONTACT:

March 22, 2012

 

Press Office

(609) 847-3500

 

Jasey, DeAngelo, Tucker, Benson and Ramos Bill to Help 9/11 Veterans Become Teachers Gets Final Legislative Approval

Pilot Program Would Expedite Certification Process and Help Fill Anticipated Teacher Shortage

 

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Mila Jasey, Wayne DeAngelo, Cleopatra Tucker, Daniel R. Benson and Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. to help 9/11 veterans find employment through an expedited teacher certification program recently received final legislative approval and now heads to the governor’s desk.

“This program will help provide veterans with a path to higher education and employment opportunities, while filling a predicted critical shortage in the teaching profession. It’s a win-win,” said Jasey (D-Essex).  “Our state veterans have already proven themselves in terms of leadership and would serve the students of our state well in the classroom.  This is one more way to help repay the debt of gratitude we owe them.”;

The bill (A-1294) would establish the “VETeach Pilot Program” in the Department of Education, which will create a 36-month teacher preparation program at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for veterans who served in the armed forces on or after September 11, 2001.  The educational expenses incurred by eligible students would be covered under the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act,” also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“;Who better to have in the classroom teaching our children than those who bravely dedicated themselves to serving our country,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex).  “The high unemployment rate among our veterans is unacceptable and there will be a great need for a new generation of teachers in coming years.  We need to establish initiatives such as VETeach that will provide an avenue for veterans to pursue careers in education while helping to place role models in the classroom.”

The establishment of the pilot program represents one of a series of veteran employment initiatives to be advanced under the auspices of Operation College Promise, which provides resources to help veterans maximize the education benefits they have earned.

 

The program will lead to a baccalaureate degree and completion of the requirements necessary to apply to the State Board of Examiners for a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing, which will authorize veterans to seek employment as a teacher in grades K through 8, and in certain secondary education fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served since September 11, 2001, was 11.5% in 2010, much higher than the national average.  

Additionally, a 2009 report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future found that more than a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers could retire in the next four years. 

“The high attrition rate among new teachers of nearly 33% is also worrisome, and leaves school districts with a loss of teaching talent that is becoming more difficult to replace. The VETeach can help fill the shortage,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “The program may also serve to attract a greater number of men and minorities, groups which are currently underrepresented in the teaching profession.”;

“The unemployment number for veterans is alarming and the shortage of public school teachers to educate our children is just as troubling. Programs like VETeach address these deficiencies by providing veterans with an educational opportunity that could lead to employment, and supplying our schools with qualified teachers, who have proven their merit not only in the classroom, but in serving our country,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex).

“The VETeach program addresses two problems: anticipated teacher shortages and the high unemployment number among veterans. Our veterans deserve better than an unemployment rate that exceeds the national average,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Through this program, our veterans will be able to pursue teaching professions, which will help tackle the unemployment issue, and bring a unique perspective to the classroom, which could enhance learning and benefit our students.”;

The bill was approved 40-0 by the Senate in February and 79-0 by the Assembly earlier this month.

 

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

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> From: “Loayza, Eva” > Date: March 21, 2012 10:31:08 AM EDT > Subject: Spencer, Barnes, Wimberly & Ramos Bill to Help Protect Consumers Against Repeated & Unfair ATM Fees Approved By Assembly > > > > FOR RELEASE: > > CONTACT: > March 21, 2012 > > Majority Press Office > 609-847-3500 > > 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. > > On The Net: > >