It’s been another busy week in New Jersey politics, highlighted by Governor Murphy’s annual budget address to the state legislature where he laid out his spending priorities for the year. Read more below!
Governor Murphy proposed several new revenue sources in his speech, but one drew harsh criticism from Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli — his plan to increase taxes on cigarettes to be in line with other nearby states. Ciattarelli’s opposition to the plan has exposed his close ties to the tobacco industry, highlighted by the fact that his top advisor is a longtime lobbyist for Big Tobacco. Read more about this developing story here.
I would like to congratulate my friend Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Paul Juliano for hosting an extraordinary fundraising event this week, with over 1,000 supporters in attendance. I was happy to join Governor Murphy, Vice Chair Peg Schaffer, Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer, Senator Loretta Weinberg and many other friends to support the Bergen Democrats.
GOV. MURPHY UPDATE
In Tuesday’s speech to the legislature, Governor Murphy pitched several exciting new policy initiatives designed to continue his administration’s record of controlling property taxes. As the Governor highlighted, our state has now had the lowest and fourth lowest year over year property tax increases in history under his leadership. This is thanks to smart investments the Governor is making in school funding, shared services for municipalities, health care cost savings for state and local government employees and much more. Governor Murphy will be traveling the state pitching his budget and his plans to make our state stronger and fairer, and you will be hearing much more about these plans in the coming months.
One of the longest-tenured and most respected Democrats in the House of Representatives, Congressman Frank Pallone is running for re-election this year to continue fighting for our values. From fighting to stop drilling off our coast, to get resources for communities devastated by Sandy, or to protect Social Security and Medicare, Congressman Pallone never waivers in his commitment to those he is elected to serve.
Highlighting youth talent as part of the Assembly’s recognition of Black History Month, Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Essex) invited 20 students from Arts High School in Newark to perform for legislators during the Assembly’s voting session Feb. 24. The Arts High School Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Forderhase and Mr. Stephen Wu, performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in observance of Black History Month. Check out their inspiring performance here.
Chairman John Currie