Majority Leader Greenwald Discusses 25% Property Tax Relief for Seniors with NJ AARP
Lou in the News
July 2, 2012
After listening to Gov. Chris Christie’s speech about an immediate call for tax relief during a special legislative session Monday, Democrats said his plan doesn’t do enough to help working class New Jersey families. They also said they would offer residents a tax cut when they were sure the revenues were available to support and sustain the cut.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said the Assembly never accepted the governor’s income tax cut plan. “We focused on real property tax relief for residents,” she said. She explained that Christie’s tax cut plan would have given the average family in the state approximately $20 in 2013 after filing taxes. Since the plan was to phase in the reduction over the next three to four years, she said the average working class family would receive about $80 at the end of that period.
Oliver said the Democrats would be willing to give tax relief, but only after knowing there is enough money to support and sustain it. “Without revenue targets being stabilized, we will find ourselves in a situation where we will not have enough revenue to meet the divergent requirements that are placed upon us, some statutorily and others because they are priorities for us in New Jersey,” she said. “The issue gets to be revenue, affordability and the Democrats in the Assembly are more than willing to effectuate a plan, but not until we settle this issue of revenue.”
State House Bureau
June 21, 2012
By Melissa Hayes
A bill that would create a one-year moratorium on the approval of virtual charter schools while a task force examines them passed the Assembly Thursday.
“This task force will play an important role in determining whether virtual charter schools should play a role in the future of education in New Jersey,” Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, D-Englewood, one of the bill’s sponsors said in a statement. “It’s important to proactively examine their place in our system now instead of allowing them to proliferate without the proper oversight.”
The bill is also sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood and Assemblymen Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, and Herb Conaway, D-Burlington.
The bill calls for a nine-member Virtual Charter School Task Force. The governor, assembly speaker and senate president would each appoint three members.
The state Department of Education has approved at least five virtual charter schools, all of which would be based in Newark, according to the bill’s sponsors.
If the task force is created, it would look at statutory and regulatory authority for the operation of virtual charters; parental involvement requirements; financial management; performance guidelines; technology guidelines; and part-time and full-time schools as well as non-profit and for-profit schools.
The group’s findings would be issued in a report to the governor and Legislature no later than March 1, 2013.
New Jersey 101.5
June 12, 2012
By Kevin McArdle
It plays exceptionally well on the national stage when Republican Governor Christie regales crowds with stories of how he gets things done for the State of New Jersey by working with Democrats.
He doesn’t work well with every Democrat or least one Democrat doesn’t work well with Christie and that’s Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald.
Greenwald is spearheading the charge to pass a millionaires tax increase for the third time in three years to help fund property tax relief for middle class New Jerseyans. Christie vows to veto it for the third time in three years. Greenwald also confirms Democrats will delay any tax cut until they’re convinced State revenues match Christie’s estimates.
Christie says there’s no point in Democrats passing yet another millionaires tax bill because everybody knows how the movie will end.
Greenwald fires back saying, “That’s the new movie, ‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘Dumb and Dumber’ with the Governor’s failure to understand his trickle-down economics have not worked.”
The Governor has made no secret of the fact that he will definitely veto the millionaires’ tax hike, but he’s not surprised Greenwald is pushing for it again. Christie says, “That is a man who is obsessed with raising taxes. Taxes can’t be high enough for Lou Greenwald…I know Lou. He loves to raise taxes and create new taxes. That’s really the bedrock of his career.”
June 14, 2012
By Max Pizarro
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, (D-6), wants Gov. Chris Christie to fully restore the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which the governor pared down in his budget two years ago.
"It stands on its own," said Greenwald, when asked about whether his stepped-up advocacy for the tax credit should be seen as the longtime advocate's inevitable retreat from the millionaire's tax, a position that puts him at odds with the Republican governor, who promises to veto the millionaire's tax.
"We are at the same place we always were," said the majority leader, referring to the millionaire's tax.
In his proposed budget this year, Christie restores the EITC gradually over two years. Greenwald, and others, like NJ Citizen Action, want it in the budget now.
The majority leader said lawmakers are delivering their combined lists of budget priorities and noted that full restoation of the EITC has bipartisan support.
While still an advocate for the millionaire's tax, "I accept that the governor's absolute refusal, in spite of the revenue numbers. I think that is alarming given how we are committed to giving property tax relief that the governor wants to continue to give tax breaks to millionaires."
June 12, 2012
By Jenna Portnoy
HADDONFIELD — The day after the Christie administration asked his cabinet to figure out what would happen in case of a government shutdown, he told a town hall audience he expects a budget deal in time for the deadline in a few weeks.
The well-attended afternoon event marked a return to the big crowds to which he is accustomed. According to his staff, 750 people showed up in Haddonfield in contrast to last week’s rarity where there were empty seats at a morning town hall in Piscataway. The number of registered Democrats in both Middlesex and Camden counties outpaces that of registered Republicans.
The governor said he was late — by 27 minutes — to the Haddonfield Central Middle School gymnasium because he was on the phone with Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) talking about tax cuts.
Though he often touts a history of compromise with Sweeney, Gov. Chris Christie said they have crossed hairs over judicial nominations. “You voted for someone who said, I’m going to change the court. I said it all through the campaign,” he said.
Against Christie’s wishes Monday, the court refused to delay an appellate court order reinstating the Council on Affordable Housing. He had been counting on $161 million from the agency.
“When the Supreme Court makes the law, you have no recourse,” he said, mocking judges who say: “I’m appointed for life. Leave me alone … That’s why those people shouldn’t be making laws because they don’t have to be responsive to the people paying the bills for the laws they’re making.”