The next topic that I want to explore in this Summer Series Legislative Recap is that of the economic development initiatives I have sought to advance. My focus in this area is uncomplicated. We need an economic development agenda that is forward-thinking and allows innovation to advance while igniting investment, preparing our workforce to meet the challenges of the jobs of tomorrow and leading our economy towards a sustained path of inclusive economic prosperity. Sounds easy right?
One of the the aspects that I enjoy the most about my job as a state representative is meeting new and interesting people. One such individual is my friend, Dr. Nicole Gillespie. Dr. Gillespie is the Executive Director & CEO of the Knowles Teacher Initiative. This organization was founded in 1999 to increase the number of high quality high school math and science teachers with the ultimate goal of improving STEM education in our country. They are working everyday to ensure that we have an ample supply of teachers prepared to help our students meet the challenges that await them in our burgeoning STEM world.
As a continuation of our Summer Series Legislative Recap, I wanted to highlight the proposals I have sponsored on energy and environmental policy. New Jersey has a unique and somewhat tortured history with respect to the environment. This history has shaped my thinking on how to effectively protect the environment, while rejecting that it is a binary choice versus growing our economy. Much of my thinking in this area is based on the concept of “environmental pragmatism”. This concept envisions a new ideological approach to addressing the issues confronting our environment, while not pitting the environment against economic growth strategies.
Taxes present an obstacle for legislators. It is one of the most common subjects that arises in a campaign and remains on one’s agenda long after the election is over. I suspect that one of the reasons that it evokes such emotion is that it affects most people. You work, play by the rules and then see that portion of your money gone from your paycheck. It can make you wince, and even if you don’t pay taxes, you feel its impact on everything from services to infrastructure.
While taking the time the other day to sort through a staple of newspapers and magazines, I came across an article devoted to a summer reading list. It’s a good idea because it exposes everyone to a different reading experience that you might not otherwise consider.
The integrity of our election system is one which we must all safeguard. No matter our political affiliation, ensuring that American citizens have unfettered access to the ballot box is essential to our democracy. That's why the actions of President Trump's Election Integrity Commission are so troubling.
Next Tuesday, our country celebrates its 241st birthday. As we prepare for the commemoration of our independence, I'm reflecting on what it means to be American, our shared dreams, and the future of our country.
I recently drafted a proposal, A4965, which regulates prepaid accounts by limiting the fees that may be charged in connection with those accounts. The proposal would also limit a consumer’s liability for an unauthorized electronic fund transfer involving the consumer’s prepaid account, and require financial institutions holding prepaid accounts to disclose certain information to consumers. It is mirrored off of the regulations that were issued by the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB), which have been under assault by President Trump and members of the Congressional leadership.
Intense and often highly partisan battles over the right to vote have gripped our nation. It is critically important to safeguard the integrity of our electoral process. However, in the fervor to achieve that goal, we must not intentionally or otherwise undermine access to the ballot box. Some in our country have tried to make exaggerated claims of voter fraud as a mask to subvert the ability of all Americans to have a say in our sacred democracy. This should chill all of us regardless of our political stripe. The price that was paid by so many for the right to vote in our country demands that we speak in a unified voice against those who seek to deny this constitutional right.
June is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Pride Month. It is not an “official” holiday, but the cause for celebration is in what it represents: that equality matters and it's important for everyone to stand together to allow our neighbors to love whomever they choose.