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VOTE411 Voter Guide

15th 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.
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  • Lee Eric Newton (Rep)

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    Shirley K. Turner (Dem) Senator

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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.

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Twitter @NJSenTurner
Qualifications/Experience 6 terms in the Senate, 2 terms in the Assembly, 1 term Freeholder, Vice Chair of Senate Education Committee and Senate State Government Committee, Former Director of Career Services at Rider Univ
Examine and revise our entire tax structure, especially and including property taxes. Devise a more equitable and progressive tax based on income, instead of relying on property taxes to fund education and government services. We need to improve government efficiency, consolidate municipal government and local school districts to share services, and eliminate waste, abuse, and duplication of services.

Since 2005, I have sponsored (S645 and SCR55) to provide for a State Constitutional Convention to be convened to reform our system of property taxation. We also need to revamp NJ EDA’s costly tax subsidy program that has provided more than $6 billion in subsidies and property tax abatements to corporations since Gov. Christie took office.
We need to pay our obligation and better protect the funds from risky investments. I was the first legislator to introduce a bill to create a constitutional mandate for the state to pay its full pension obligation. My bill, SCR2, would place the constitutional amendment before the voters. I am also the prime sponsor of S1371, which prohibits the investment by the State of pension and annuity funds in hedge funds and derivative contracts.

My bill, S1378, closes a loophole that allows the State Investment Council (SIC) to invest public pension funds with private money managers that make political contributions. My bill would improve transparency and end this pay-to-play scheme that awards the managers contracts that earn them high fees and reward them generous commissions and bonuses
I support energy conservation and expansion of renewable energy projects. My legislative record reflects my strong opposition to hydraulic fracturing and pipelines that place our natural resources at risk. I have sponsored and supported legislation that promotes renewable energy and alternative fuels and will continue to do so.
Companies that receive subsidies from the state should have stringent job creation and/or retention goals and the state must do a better job of monitoring the companies to ensure that they are living up to their job creation/retention expectations. Now, many companies simply move from one town to the next which creates few, if any, new jobs.

I am the sponsor of S1322, which would establish an innovation zone program to help attract technology businesses and create more jobs near New Jersey’s research institutions and hospitals. I support funding to provide support for small business creation. I also support making higher education affordable and providing more opportunities for career training to ensure that New Jersey has the educated and skilled workforce that employers want and nee
1.) Equalize educational funding by meeting the funding formula established in 2009. 2.) Restore the estate tax on estates over $2 million and institute a millionaire’s tax to help fully fund education and fund higher education to help reduce tuition and reduce student loan costs. 3.) Since legislation was recently enacted to require insurance companies to provide addiction treatment for their insureds, we also need to provide addiction treatment to people who are uninsured and underinsured. My bill, S3188, would impose a tax on wholesale distributors of opioid drugs to provide funding for substance use treatment for people who are uninsured, underinsured, or enrolled in Medicaid program.

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