Lou in the News

N.J. Assembly OKs measure to create moratorium on approval of virtual charter schools

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.

Chris Christie Versus Lou Greenwald As Budget Deadline Looms

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.”

Greenwald focuses on full restoration of state EITC

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."

Gov. Chris Christie tells Haddonfield audience he wants budget deal by deadline

Star Ledger
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.”

Christie Slams Assembly Dems on Haddonfield Turf of Their Leader

Haddonfield Patch
June 12, 2012
By Bill Duhart

The governor scolded Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald during a two-hour town hall meeting Tuesday. Christie also tamed the crowd with charm, wit and personable stories.

Gov. Chris Christie came out swinging Tuesday, taking the fight to state Assembly Leader Louis Greenwald on his home turf in Haddonfield.

The Republican governor accused Greenwald of standing in the way of a 10 percent income tax-cut proposal in front of the Legislature. Christie zoned in on Greenwald during a nearly two-hour town hall meeting here in front of a capacity crowd of nearly 600 packed into the middle school gym.

"Now, we're ready to cut taxes and the only people standing in our way are Lou Greenwald and the Assembly Democrats," said Christie, who is campaigning to have a state budget deal before the end of the month. "I'm coming to Haddonfield today because I need your help. Lou Greenwald, he's your guy. Now we have to put the pressure on him."

Greenwald, who didn't attend the meeting, launched his own preemptive volley with a news release that went out 15 minutes before the governor's town hall started at 3:30 p.m.

"I'd like to welcome Gov. Christie to the 6th District," said the release from the Democratic legislator. "The governor owes the middle-class families and senior citizens who make our communities strong an explanation: When will he give up his obsession with massive tax breaks for the wealthy that continue to harm New Jersey's families?