My focus in this area is uncomplicated. We need an economic development agenda that is forward-thinking and allows innovation to advance and ignite investment. Further, we need to advance programs and initiatives that prepare our workforce to meet the challenges of the jobs of tomorrow, while leading our economy towards a sustained path of inclusive economic prosperity. This approach allows us to address one of the real culprits of income inequality in our state, the scarcity of opportunity for to many New Jersey residents. It is why I have worked to expand employment training opportunities and modify our tax code to reward innovation and job creation.
I believe that every family in our state should be able to receive the quality healthcare they need, from a physician they trust and at a price they can afford. The first step towards achieving this goal is to recognize that there is no single idea or a one-size-fits-all legislative remedy that makes this happen overnight. It is too broad and too complex. However, by creatively examining each piece of the health care puzzle, we can design an interlocking package of health care solutions. I have been very conscious of examining many of the major issues that confront us on this broad and complicated topic and have tried to offer those types of solutions that are both pragmatic and achievable on the state level.
I have been a consistent advocate for policies that ensure women can be full participants in our state’s economy. If we are to move towards the “more perfect union” promised by our nation’s founders then we have to work for a more equal and just society. In New Jersey, this means a society where women have the right to control their own bodies and health care decisions, where they do not live in fear or silence due to domestic violence, and where they can earn the same salary as a man for doing the same job.
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. I believe economic growth and environmental responsibility are not incompatible. The measures I have worked on seek to find a balance that will leave a better and healthier environment for our next generation.
Troy has been on the front lines of protecting middle class families in New Jersey. As a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, he has worked to make the right choices, putting people before politics and focusing on growing our state’s economy.
Troy has led the way in helping small businesses get the support they need to hire new workers and make investments in new technology. He is working to attract new, high-tech companies to South Jersey that will create good jobs with benefits. Troy supports expanding tax incentives for small businesses to make South Jersey an industry leader in clean energy research and development – increasing solar panel installation and manufacturing of wind turbines in New Jersey, instead of sending jobs overseas.
I understand that illegal gun sales and weapons trafficking are real problems in our communities. That’s why I authored a number of laws to keep our neighborhoods safe while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens -- including mandating that felons serving prison sentences for gun crimes don’t get released early, and requiring the automatic forfeiture of any cars used in the illegal trafficking of weapons.
My practical approach to decreasing gun crime has focused on proposing common sense reforms to keep our families safe. Additional measures that I have authored include combating the flow of guns through New Jersey through "straw purchases" and increasing the penalties for licensed dealers who knowingly sell firearms to people who will pass them on to those who are disqualified from legally possessing guns in New Jersey.
The educational foundation that we lay for our children should be steeped in the principle that every child, regardless of zip code, should have the tools necessary to succeed. Adhering to this principle can be particularly daunting in some segments of our society where significant outside factors, (i.e. crime, family strife, lack of nutrition) have a major impact on the education of our children. That said, investing in education is the most important investment we can make towards our state’s shared future. I am proud to have been a leader in expanding educational opportunities for our children through K-12 and ensuring that teachers have the necessary tools and training to help our children live up to their promise.
As the grandson of a World War II Navy veteran, I am acutely aware of our nation's commitment to its veterans and their families, who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom. I cherish this bond and recognize the duty that those of us who have benefitted from the protection and security that these patriots have made possible owe for their service and sacrifice. This sacred bond, which we have with our veterans, demand that we honor their service by treating them every day with the dignity and respect that these patriots deserve. It's also about providing them with the care they need and the benefits that they have earned when the battle is over. I have championed initiatives to improve access to benefits for our veterans and to ensure that when active duty service members return home, more job opportunities are available to them, and the educational and training tools needed for success in the private sector are easily accessible.
Infrastructure investments have long been an economic engine for our country. Building American roads, bridges and rail lines helped pull us out of the Great Depression, and revived our stalled economy. It's time to return to that notion that if we commit the resources necessary, we can put New Jersey residents back to work and strengthen our transportation and infrastructure networks for the long-term safety and productivity of our state. A strong infrastructure is essential to our ability to move goods and services throughout our state, and therefore grow our economy. I have worked across party lines to provide adequate funding and innovative financially sound solutions to achieve this goal.
Coming from a close-knit family, I understand society’s shared responsibility to care for our senior citizens. That’s why I have voted to strengthen protections against elder abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Additionally, I am fighting to preserve vital property tax relief for seniors, so they can stay in the homes in which they've raised families and built years of memories. I will continue to fight against deep cuts to nursing homes that will hurt quality of care and patient safety, and support value-based home healthcare initiatives that provide efficient and quality service for our seniors.