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Greenwald at Roundtable Event: On Sandy Grants, Small Business Owners Deserve Action, Not Excuses

April 7, 2014

New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) met with a group of small business owners Monday, in a roundtable event discussing the Economic Development Authority's grossly mismanaged administration of the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant program. The event, which took place at Francesco's Italian Restaurant in Highlands, New Jersey, featured several business owners expressing serious frustrations about lengthy, unexplained delays, being bounced from caseworker to caseworker, and a lack of transparency surrounding the process.

"This grant program was designed to provide small businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy a helping hand to help businesses get back on their feat," said Greenwald. "What they got instead was a horror story: endless delays, unanswered questions, bureaucratic foot-dragging, finger-pointing, and mismanagement."

"The stories I heard today from the small business owners who are the backbone of our state's economy are extremely disturbing," Greenwald continued. "When it comes to this grant program, our small business owners deserve action and answers, not excuses."

The Stronger New Jersey Business Grant program began in April 2013, with the goal of helping small business owners repair damage their businesses suffered as a result of Superstorm Sandy. The program, which provides up to $50,000 to businesses with revenues bellow $5 million, provides funds may be used by impacted businesses for working capital, inventory, equipment, furnishings, and construction.

Greenwald: Sandy Affected Businesses Need Relief Now

March 25, 2014

(TRENTON)--New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Tuesday, expressing shock and disappointment at ongoing delays and red tape in the Economic Development Authority's (EDA) administration of the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant program:

"It's extremely disturbing to me to learn that the small businesses devastated by Sandy- businesses that are the backbone of our economy - have encountered severe delays and red tape instead of the simple relief promised them by EDA when it announced this program.

"Out of $100 million of eligible grant money, EDA's most recent report shows that less than 20 percent has been approved to help small businesses recover from the impacts of Sandy. Out of more than 3,300 applications for this grant money, EDA's most recent report indicates only 314 grants have been approved.

"These numbers suggest a stunning lack of urgency in helping small business owners get back on their feet after one of the most historically devastating storms our region has ever faced.

"Business owners have now come forward to describe severe red tape they have faced in getting their applications processed by EDA, including serious delays, a lack of transparency and being bounced from case worker to case worker.

"It's been almost a year since the inception of this program, and fewer than 314 grants have been approved - comprising less than 10 percent of all applicants. This lack of action is completely unacceptable. These small business owners deserve action, not excuses."

Greenwald on Tesla: Christie Needs to Get His Facts Straight & Take Responsibility

March 19, 2014

(TRENTON)-New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Wednesday:

"When it comes to Tesla, Governor Christie needs to get his facts straight. Rather than take responsibility for his own administration's decision to shut down Tesla, he chose to point fingers and evade accountability. These town hall antics reek of hypocrisy.

"The governor's comments are a classic example of passing the buck in the face of an unpopular decision instead of accepting responsibility.

"Here are the facts: the Motor Vehicle Commission previously issued Tesla a license to sell cars in New Jersey. Now, MVC is changing their rules so that Tesla will no longer be allowed to operate in New Jersey. This was not an act of the legislature, but rather Governor Christie's administration changing its mind about Tesla.

"Instead of taking responsibility for his administration, Governor Christie instead chose to manufacture a crisis and blame the legislature. Nevertheless, given the importance of this issue, I will work with my colleagues in the legislature to clean up the governor's mess.

"The policy priorities of encouraging innovation, promoting environmental protection, and accommodating consumer concerns are of paramount importance. I have met with both sides of this issue, and I look forward to working collaboratively to find a solution, rather than finger-pointing in an effort to score political points."

Greenwald: Christie Must Denounce Billionaire Backer's 'Outrageous' Nazi Reference

March 18, 2014

(TRENTON) - New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement Tuesday after Politico reported that Home Depot co-founder and top Gov. Chris Christie backer, billionaire Ken Langone, compared efforts to promote economic fairness to "what Hitler was saying in Germany" in 1933:

"Mr. Langone's incredibly offensive and clueless remarks minimize the human tragedy of the Holocaust in an attempt to serve his own political agenda. Such remarks are outrageous and disgusting. I call on Gov. Christie to join me in unequivocally condemning these remarks, which have no place in responsible public discourse.

"It's no secret that growing income inequality and an eroding middle-class are serious problems facing our country. These serious issues demand serious conversations toward solutions that promote social mobility and economic growth for all Americans.

"But while America has had fierce debates on how to solve these problems, there is no comparison to the systematic, government-run persecution and genocide perpetrated by Hitler and the Nazi regime. Such a comparison is beyond offensive. Gov. Christie should join me in condemning these remarks immediately."

Greenwald: National Law Enforcement Leaders Have Supported High-Capacity Magazine Ban to Reduce Gun Violence

March 13, 2014

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) pushed for passage of his bill, A-2006, Thursday, which promotes public safety and reduces gun violence by limiting ammunition magazines to ten rounds. Greenwald noted that cracking down on high-capacity magazines is critical to reducing gun violence and noted that national law enforcement leaders have supported banning high-capacity magazines.

"A ten-round magazine limit is a reasonable measure that will save lives, reduce gun violence, and protect our communities from senseless tragedy," said Greenwald. "A ten-round limit has drawn wide support from national law enforcement leaders because they know it is a balanced, common-sense approach that will save lives while respecting lawful gun owners' Second Amendment rights."

Numerous national law enforcement leaders have long expressed support for banning high-capacity magazines, including:

Jim Johnson, Baltimore Police Chief & Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence

High-capacity magazines are the deadliest of gun cartridges. They come in cases of 30, 40, 60 and even 120 rounds...[Baltimore County Police Chief Jim] Johnson, the Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, wants to limit them to a capacity of 10 rounds.

The fewer the bullets, the more often the shooter has to stop firing, eject the empty cartridge and load another one.

A lot can happen in the window of time it takes to reload, Johnson said.