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December 8, 2014
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald on Monday praised the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation for the steady and thorough leadership employed to investigate the abuse of government power that threatened public safety and brought the town of Fort Lee to a standstill for nearly a week.
"I want to thank my fellow committee members and our counsel for their dedication and professionalism to date.
"The snapshot released today of the events that have transpired reveals an almost baffling abuse of power that, had it not been for this committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee, would have likely gone unchecked, leading to untold other transgressions.
"Throughout this process, Democrats and Republicans, alike, have agreed that an abuse of power took place. And despite the disagreements raised today, we have not heard one factual discrepancy or dispute on the report itself.
"What we now have is a clear picture of the many questions that still remain unanswered. Ultimately, we still need to find out why the bridge was closed and who closed it. Taxpayers deserve these answers," said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington).
November 13, 2014
Comprehensive bi-state, bipartisan legislation to increase transparency at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was passed Thursday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval. The two approved bills now head to the governor's desk.
Sponsors of the bills, Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Speaker Vincent Prieto, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Gordon Johnson, Tim Eustace, Joseph Lagana and Carmelo Garcia, noted that the legislation will introduce integrity to the bi-state agency.
"Long before 'Bridge-gate' was even a term, we have been pushing for reforms at the Port Authority to address the gross mismanagement and abuse of taxpayer funds that have been well-documented. We finally have a chance now to put real reforms in place, and we can't squander this opportunity," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "These bills will help create unprecedented transparency and accountability at this multi-billion dollar agency in order to help protect the commuters of this state who have been paying the price for years of lack of oversight. I'm pleased my colleagues in the legislature have come together to support this overhaul, and I hope the governor will join us in doing the same."
October 27, 2014
Comprehensive bi-state, bipartisan legislation to increase transparency at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.
Sponsors of the two approved bills, Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Speaker Vincent Prieto, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Gordon Johnson, Tim Eustace, Joseph Lagana and Carmelo Garcia, noted that the legislation will introduce integrity to the bi-state agency.
"Residents of New Jersey depend on the Port Authority every day, and they deserve nothing less than an agency that makes them a priority," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "As the legislature continues to investigate last year's unexplained George Washington Bridge lane closures, it's critical that we address the root of the problem - that this overwhelmingly flawed agency has no sense of accountability whatsoever."
"Considering how much of their hard-earned money is in the hands of the Port Authority, the people of New Jersey have a right to know who is making key decisions, how those individuals are making decisions and how the public can be a part of that process," said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). "The unfortunate truth is that this agency clearly is a breeding ground for wrongdoing. That ends with these bills."
October 1, 2014
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An effort to improve the health of the homeless in New Jersey is gaining the attention of legislative and insurance-industry leaders, laying the groundwork for the statewide expansion of a program that concentrates on finding housing for the homeless before focusing on healthcare services.
Housing First, which has seen success in the Trenton area, is scheduled to expand to Camden next year. And advocates point to a growing body of evidence that it would be a cost effective way to reduce homelessness and improve healthcare quality and costs across the state. They say existing sources like Medicaid and money used to fund shelters could instead be put to provide permanent housing.
The program provides housing to homeless people, as a first step to addressing their healthcare and other social-service needs. Traditionally, public assistance for housing the homeless has been used as a potential reward for residents, but these approaches -- unlike Housing First -- have been ineffective for those with addictions and other behavioral-health needs that lead to a cycle of expensive treatments.
September 29, 2014
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Monday upon the Assembly's concurrence with the conditional veto of A-3213, the Economic Opportunity Act of 2014, Part 3:
"Today's vote continues the critical bipartisan work we began last year with the Economic Opportunity Act. By streamlining and reforming a complex system of incentives, we have strengthened New Jersey's ability to attract job growth and economic development. While we have much more work to do, this bill represents real, bipartisan progress.
"This legislation also tackles an important facet of our state's overall economic health--the struggling economy of Atlantic City. By expanding eligibility for economic growth incentives to key projects, our work today is an important step toward rejuvenating Atlantic City's economy."