“The color of your skin or the thickness of your wallet shouldn’t determine your ability to breathe clean air.” These are the withering words of the Times of Trenton's Editorial Board, and it perfectly captures the spirit of Senate Bill No. 1700, my environmental justice legislation. In formal parlance, my bill would “require a person seeking a permit for a new facility, or for purposes of the expansion of an existing facility, located in a burdened community, to meet certain additional requirements before they can obtain the permit.”Read more
Earth Day is just a few weeks away. Many of us try to be environmentally aware all year round, particularly in our recycling efforts. But, if you’re conscientious about recycling, it can get complicated at times. For example, can you recycle bottles and leave the label? (You can.) Can you recycle pizza boxes? (Nope).Read more
April is National Fair Housing Month. As Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee which oversees housing policy in the Senate, I am passionate about ensuring that all NJ residents have a safe and affordable place to live out their version of the American Dream.Read more
This is National Nutrition Month, which the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created to focus on the “importance of informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical acidity habits."
While we are closing out National Nutrition Month, the subject of food — having enough food that offers nutritional value and access to it —should be on everyone’s mind, not just during this month but throughout the year.Read more
One of the persistent and pertinent questions of modern economic theory in our society these days is confronting income inequality. Many hold the prevailing view that income for people at the bottom and midlevel earning range has decreased, while income for the upper 20 percent of earners has increased. This is true but there is also some nuance to this issue. While some demographic subgroups have seen average incomes rise, what is occurring and has contributed to the income gap is that the rate of increase favors those with higher incomes. This leaves us with a dreadful wage disparity that exacerbates the gap between the haves and have nots in our country.Read more
In recent decades, we have made much about gender equality in the home, the workplace and even our culture, from entertainment to sports. This has been a positive trend and an appropriate one. However, I can’t help but believe that our perception of women’s role in history is marked as much by their absence as it is celebrated for their achievements.
Women’s History Month helps to set the record straight. It is the perfect time to reflect, honor and learn about women in the past who were the proverbial “voice in the wilderness,” who accomplished so much, yet which history often neglected or ignored. Until now, of course.Read more
The first week in March should be a happy time for parents and children because it’s Read Across America, a national celebration to promote reading to our children. We celebrate it March 1 to coincide with the birthday of the famous and beloved author Dr. Seuss. But one should consider it a privilege to participate for the entire month (and even longer).Read more
A crisis can be defined as a critical point in history, a time when difficult and challenging decisions must be made. This is the point at which New Jersey’s ever growing foreclosure problem had reached – the critical juncture of a crisis.
The foreclosure crisis affects all of us in one way or another, directly and indirectly – whether we are the homeowner losing our home and years of hard-earned equity, or the neighbor who lives next door to an abandoned property or someone whose home value has decreased because of a foreclosure nearby - its consequences are far reaching. Foreclosures have uprooted families, caused boarded-up homes, and contributed to neighborhood blight throughout our state.Read more
Economic fairness and equity for workers is an important concern if we are to close the income inequality gap in New Jersey and beyond. There are multiple ways in which this can be addressed. One such way relates to the need to update the salary thresholds for what qualifies as overtime pay, and the other relates to utilizing our tax code to assist workers who will face continued and increasingly complicated challenges for future job opportunities.Read more
The month of February is a matter of the Heart. I’m not referring to Valentine’s Day, for the moment, which symbolizes a worthy sentiment to those we care about, but rather a matter of the heart. Literally. Do you have a healthy heart, and are you following habits that promote it?Read more