Please feel free to ask your questions in the comments section below or email them to me at email@example.com and they will be included in a future edition.
Q7. What exactly does a State Assemblyman do and should he or she be important to me? - B.G. Bellmawr
A: Yes - State Legislators have a broad impact on your life. They decide the taxes, spending, regulation and oversight of New Jersey’s government. Their decisions filter down to our individual districts, counties and municipalities.
Think of the New Jersey General Assembly like a smaller version of the United States House of Representatives. There are 80 members of the General Assembly - two members from each of the 40 Legislative Districts in New Jersey. Assemblymen and Assemblywomen write legislation, vote on State laws, form an annual budget and represent the interests of their constituents while working with other legislators to solve the problems facing New Jersey.
Q8. Can union members trust you not to do the same things that the South Jersey Democrats did when they stripped public workers of collective bargaining rights? – J.R. Camden City
A: Yes - I am a union member myself, USW Local 10-1, working as an equipment operator in the Sun Oil Philadelphia Refinery. Like many union members across our district, I too am a blue collar worker and the sole provider for my family. I believe we need representatives who are dedicated to defending rights.
Protecting rights is the single most important role that government plays in representing all The People. In
Q9 – Do you believe that our State’s current Pension mess is the fault of public workers? – B.C. Mantua
A: No - I believe that the State’s Pension and Benefits problems are absolutely not the fault of public workers. These problems are due to the failures of the elected officials who recklessly mismanaged our State’s budget and continually missed payments into the public pension system.
After taking over our State Government, the Democrat-controlled Legislature and Governor’s Office irresponsibly raised annual State spending from $21.8 billion in 2001 to $34.6 billion in 2008. They also increased outstanding bonded indebtedness from $16 billion to $47 billion during the same time. This explosion of unsustainable spending and debt debilitated New Jersey’s capacity to weather the economic recession, and mounting obligations grew to critical levels in the pension and benefits systems.
Their massive spending spree and debt buildup placed a huge burden squarely upon the shoulders of New Jersey’s taxpayers and public workers. Being politicians instead of elected leaders, these same legislators now vote to blame public pension obligations on employees instead of accepting responsibility for their own disastrous actions.
The sweeping measures being taken today are largely due to the mismanagement of the State over the last ten years and would not have even been considered necessary by reform proponents if the Democrat Majority had governed responsibly. Now they are working desperately to cover their mistakes and we are all paying the price.