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Our Family Thanks You

Friends,

Due to the passing of my father, Elijah Singleton Jr., there will not be a normal blog post this week. I want to thank all those who have reached out to share their condolences and offer support for my family during this difficult time. Our fathers teach us a lot in life and my father was truly my hero. I will miss him dearly, but will lean on the lessons that he instilled in me to live my remaining days as a tribute to him. Again, thank you all for thoughts and prayers. I am sincerely grateful.

 

Troy

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Veto of tax-incentive oversight is a lost opportunity

tt64.jpgThese expenditures are special or selective tax-relief benefits authorized by law to encourage investment, create jobs and facilitate economic development, or to relieve the tax on products, services or financial decisions in order to boost businesses.

These are laudable goals that I have supported and even sponsored. With that said, a component of that authorization should be our ability to critically analyze the economic benefits of those expenditures.

Given New Jersey's lagging recovery from the recession and our sluggish job growth rate, we need to do a better job of determining whether these incentives are achieving their goals and working in the taxpayers' best interests.

That is where the governor's veto misses the mark.

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Memorial Day: After the Memories

tt63.jpgWe rightfully celebrate Memorial Day annually. Whether it was a march down your main street, a head bowed at a religious service, or a conversation with a family member who served in the military, this day belongs to all of us. I can think of few other occasions when differences of opinion are placed on pause as we remember those Americans who served on our behalf. And if we owe tribute to all of them, then those who have made the supreme sacrifice require an even higher standard of gratitude.

You are reading this on Thursday, three days after Memorial Day. While what I have written holds true for this Memorial Day, and I hope many more to come, there is an urgency about Memorial Day that transcends the past.

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Opinion: Veto of tax-incentive oversight is a lost opportunity

Given New Jersey's lagging recovery from the recession and our sluggish job growth rate, we need to do a better job of determining whether tax-relief incentives are achieving their goals and working in the taxpayers' best interests.

EARLIER this month, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed legislation (A-939), a measure I sponsored that was designed to improve reporting and disclosure requirements on state tax expenditures intended to boost our economy.

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State Senate 2017 Score Card: The Coming Conflagration

We’ll let other publications summon their best efforts at airlifting national terms like “light blue” and “light red” onto New Jersey’s districts and play-calling the general election over and under dynamics of, say, LD33.

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The Ugly Surprise of Out-of-Network Healthcare

tt62a.jpgYou’re about to go “under” for a surgical procedure, and just before they administer the anesthesia, someone arrives at your bedside and says, “Mr. Smith, we forgot to mention it, but the anesthesiologist is not in your network. Don’t worry, though. Everything will be fine.” You wake up, go home, and a few days later, a bill arrives. It appears you’re going to pay an unanticipated $1,000-plus for that out-of-network doctor. Oh, no one told you the cost? Sorry. Maybe next time.

There should never be that kind of “next time” for consumers in New Jersey. Yet my example, if slightly exaggerated, actually occurs. According to the Consumer Union (as reported in press accounts), a Union City woman had to change the date of her surgery. When it occurred, the hospital had left the network, leaving her with a $20,000 bill. A Hamburg man underwent cancer surgery at an in-network hospital with an in-network doctor. One of the surgeon’s assistants was out-of-network. This patient got a bill for $9,000.

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Street fight: Uber, Lyft have transportation and technology colliding in Trenton

When Garry Goldberg looks to hire a new taxi driver, he says he not only schedules an in-person interview but also performs an unrequired background check on the applicant.

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The legal loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to get a gun

Dylann Roof, the man accused of a shooting spree that left nine people dead at a historic black church in Charleston on Wednesday night, should not have been able to get a gun.

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Celebrating a Mother’s Day That Never Ends

tt61.jpgWe have just finished celebrating Mother’s Day. During a church service recently, the celebrant reminded us that the second most celebrated holiday was Mother’s Day (pointing out, with a touch of humor, that Father’s Day slips to a deep 32 on the list). Figures, doesn't it fellas.

That said, we rightfully celebrated this holiday with our mothers in houses of worship or as a family get together with Mom, Dad, siblings and extended family. If our mothers are not with us, as is the case with my mother, Delores Singleton, they are still ever-present in our hearts and prayers.

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Sexual Assault and the Evolution of Modern Law

tt60.jpgRape is a heinous criminal act. A perpetrator of such a despicable crime deserves public scorn and punishment to the fullest extent of the law.  New Jersey’s rape statute contemplates a variety of factors, including the age of the victim, the victim’s relationship to the perpetrator and the level of injury sustained by the victim, which contribute to the seriousness of the offense and the degree of punishment. What is not explicitly accounted for in New Jersey’s statute, however, is whether sexual intercourse achieved by means of fraud or deceit is appropriately titled as rape.  My proposal, A3908, is designed to engage that conversation.

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