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VOTE411 Voter Guide

13th Senate District

The NJ General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Voters will head to the polls to select a Governor, State Senator, and State Assembly Members, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Sean F. Byrnes (Dem) Attorney

  • Declan O'Scanlon (Rep)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. What, if anything, do you propose to lower property taxes?

New Jersey's state pension system has recently been named the worst-funded state retirement plan in the country and is arguably one of our largest financial problems. How do you propose to address our state's pension issues?

How can New Jersey meet our energy needs while protecting our environment? For example, would you support energy conservation, expansion of renewable energy projects, hydraulic fracturing, and pipelines, etc?

What would you do to promote job growth in our state?

Please indicate three additional state priority issues for you (not already listed in this questionnaire) and explain how you would address them.

Website byrnes4senate.com
Twitter @Byrnes4Senate
Qualifications/Experience Served 21 years (7 active, 14 reserve) with the US Coast Guard, 3 years Middletown Two Committee, 13 years Community YMCA Board, 10 years Parker Clinic, business owner, lawyer, Mon. County SPCA Board
A strong economy brings greater revenue for our State, and we missed opportunities in the last 8 years to grow our economy. The next Governor and Legislature need to create incentives to build an economy that aims at those sectors that will grow. We must give our citizens and small businesses the training and incentives they need to compete in these growing fields of commerce. We also need to do the hard work of consolidating government and the administration of our schools. 691 school systems 565 towns is too many. We can learn from the experience of other states. Where consolidation won't work, we need to consider moving services to the County level. Chronic underfunding of the school funding has increased property taxes. We also need to audit the Port Authority and its structure.
This problem did not happen overnight and will not be solved overnight. This will be a long, slow climb out of a financial hole. It must begin with making the annual payments into the system. Our laws require the funding of public employee pensions, and actuarial math requires it be done timely. Our failure to do so had produced insolvency in the fund. The starting point for fixing this is to begin making timely contributions into that system.The discussion regarding public employee pension funding in this state has been littered with broken promises and irresponsibility. To fulfill its commitment to public employees and re-establish financial stability and long-term solvency, the state must make timely and consistent contributions to the pension system.
New construction housing offers us an opportunity to build energy efficiency into our housing stock. I support updating our building codes with a focus on improving energy performance, and incorporating renewable energy and sustainable energy features. We should also consider building designs which lessen the environmental impact of new structures. Our coastal district will also face the brunt of climate change. In my District, the Bayshore remains vulnerable to weather extremes. While Washington stumbles, we can still work to transition our energy grid away from it’s current reliance on non-renewable resources. We need to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and I will support legislation to build a more sustainable New Jersey. It is good policy and good for our economy.
As a small business owner, and as an attorney who advises small businesses, I understand the challenges facing entrepreneurs and small business. These businesses must navigate our burdensome regulatory environment. I will work to end regulations which inhibit small business growth. I will also look for opportunities to make starting, operating and growing a business easier here in New Jersey.

Job growth begins and ends with small businesses. Small businesses produce new jobs far more swiftly than big corporations. We need to give them incentives and facilitate access to capital. I will work to build partnerships between business and public education to ensure that our workers have access to the training and education that prepares them for tomorrow's growth industries.
College Affordability for Middle Class Families β€” As the father of five children between 18 and 27, I know the burdens of funding college and the high tuition loan interest rates. The existing system for funding eduction must be dismantled so that our next generation can get the skills they need without taking on debt that lasts a lifetime. Equal Pay for Women β€” When women earn less for equal work, the whole household suffers. I will support initiatives to close the gender wage gap. My daughter should be able to earn exactly what her brothers earn. Period. Unaccountable Bureaucracies β€” I will introduce legislation to audit and investigate the activities of NJ Transit, Port Authority, and NJ Turnpike. We do not get the benefit of the almost $8B spent by the Port Authority.
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