June 25, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats' top priority in passing a budget for the fiscal year that begins next Wednesday is to make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system for public workers. They have taken familiar steps to accomplish this, such as pushing legislation that would raise taxes on the state's highest earners and on corporations. Those components are part of a budget they advanced in committee Tuesday, setting up a full vote by the Legislature on Thursday. But Democrats also used a slick accounting maneuver to say they are making the full $3.1 billion payment for fiscal 2016, as was required by a 2011 law. (A state Supreme Court decision this month struck down that requirement.)
February 23, 2013 |
TRENTON - The New Jersey Assembly's majority Democrats, citing the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., passed 22 gun-control bills Thursday that backers said would help curb gun violence. The measures, which have to clear the Senate, would limit ammunition rounds, require mental health clearances and photo IDs for gun permits, and bar anyone on the federal terrorist watch list from obtaining a gun. "We've got some of the best gun laws in the country, but we also know we have some things we can tighten up," Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D., Essex)
January 3, 2013 |
New Jersey Democrats have long argued that they would approve only "diverse" nominees to the state Supreme Court. But now, as liberal opposition builds against Gov. Christie's most recent picks, the definition of diverse appears to be changing. One of the two nominees, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David Bauman, was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and would be the first Asian American on the high court. Yet the Legislature's black caucus, the state Latino Action Network, and a broad coalition of more than 50 groups, including teachers' unions and Planned Parenthood, are opposing Bauman and the other nominee, Robert Hanna, who is white, primarily because they would not make the court more diverse - and specifically, because they're not African American or Latino.
March 7, 2012 |
TRENTON - Two things are certain in Trenton these days: Talk of cutting taxes and Gov. Christie's taking credit for starting the trend. The Legislature's Democratic leaders unveiled their counterproposals Tuesday to Christie's plan to cut income taxes 10 percent across the board, an idea he included in his budget proposal in February. Both Democratic plans would restrict tax relief to households with an annual income of $250,000 or less. Under Christie's proposal, the highest wage earners would reap the largest amounts from the tax breaks.
November 8, 2011 |
There's an election this week that will have a substantial effect on New Jersey policy - and it's not Tuesday's vote to choose all 120 members of the Legislature. This election will come Thursday, when the Assembly's 47 Democrats meet to select new leaders. And just as a state redistricting commission this year made the legislative elections a foregone conclusion in most districts by protecting incumbents, this one appears to be a done deal. A coalition dominated by South Jersey and Hudson and Essex County legislators is prepared to back Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver for another two-year term, after months of private grumbling by some that she should be ousted.
April 9, 2011 |
Ten-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis could be running again - for the New Jersey Statehouse. Democrats are trying to persuade Lewis to challenge Republican State Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego in the Burlington County district where he lives. "There are ongoing negotiations with regard to his consideration of him running for the Senate in the Eighth District," said Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D., Burlington). "There's no indication that he has made a definite decision to run. " Addiego, a former Evesham Township Council member and county freeholder, did not return a call Friday.
March 11, 2011 |
Just over four years since her reinvigorated Democratic Party made its first serious raid on Burlington County government, Mary Anne Reinhart stands alone. The Shamong Township resident - who, with Chris J. Brown, broke the Republicans' 25-year iron grip on the Board of Freeholders in 2008 - is the county's last high-ranking Democrat. In the last 12 months, Brown and two other Democratic officeholders have defected to the well-oiled GOP organization that has long controlled county posts.
February 10, 2011 |
The lexicon of recent American political slang has two words for what befalls black and other minority voters at redistricting time: packing and cracking. As politicians prepare to redraw the map for New Jersey's 40 legislative districts, Democrats are afraid Republicans will "pack" African Americans and the state's fast-growing Latino community - historically reliable Democratic voters - into a small number of districts to soften their political punch. Accentuating their fears is the presence of a renowned Republican "packing" expert.
September 8, 2009
Amid last week's odes to the outgoing speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, State Sen. Stephen Sweeney was quoted as gushing: "It's impossible to replace a Joe Roberts. " But you wouldn't have known it from the way he and other South Jersey Democrats instantly agreed on the man who would, in fact, replace Joe Roberts. A party press release Wednesday afternoon proclaimed that, in the 90 or so minutes that had elapsed since Roberts (D., Camden) had announced he would not seek reelection, the organization had managed to "coalesce" around a "candidate" for his seat.