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VOTE411 Voter Guide

23rd 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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    Christine Lui Chen (Dem) Healthcare Chief Operating Officer

  • Michael J. Doherty (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.

Twitter @chen4change
Qualifications/Experience Scientist & businesswoman. Previously worked at J&J and COO of 2 small businesses. Experienced shaping public policy and leading teams of 500+. Studied neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and Wharton MBA
A Monmouth University survey showed more than half of NJ residents want to leave at some point. People are fed up with property taxes that continue to rise.I propose a multi-part solution to lower property taxes: 1) As a small business leader, I’ve seen first-hand that NJ is not competitive for new businesses. I propose small business incubators and microloan programs to keep NJ run by New Jerseyans. New businesses would generate new revenue which lowers property taxes. 2)Reduce expenses by leveraging shared services across municipalities. 3)Evaluate shifting state and local tax revenue reliance on property taxes to be more in line with other states. NJ is overly dependent on property taxes with 48% of state & local revenues coming from property taxes compared with the U.S. average of 33%
Christie’s failure to meet our pension obligation has been a driving factor behind 11 credit-rating downgrades. As a result, all of NJ suffers when we face higher borrowing costs to invest in innovation and infrastructure.

The state needs a sustainable pension solution because the unconscionable alternative is the fund (and our economy) will collapse in 10 years. The Tax Foundation reports NJ has the 3rd highest state-local tax burden is the nation, and yet we remain unable to meet our pension responsibilities! Let's face it, NJ government is inefficient and more taxes will not solve this problem. I support complete economic reform and transparency in how our tax dollars are being spent. As a legislator, I commit to restoring trust in NJ with regular payments to the pension system.
With substantial cuts to Federal EPA Science Programs, NJ state legislators are our last line of defense to ensure NJ’s energy needs are met while protecting our environment.

Energy at the expense of pollution hurt NJ families in Warren and Hudson counties, where very low-birthweight babies (under 3.3 lbs) were more likely to be born downwind from the Portland Generating Station. As an evidenced-based decision maker, I will not allow frivolous short-term-gains compromise our clean air, clean water, and open space. I support energy conservation and renewable energy projects including: -Expanding solar energy programs to set NJ up to be a leader in solar production and job creation -Invest in clean energy storage -Increasing funding and providing market incentives for energy efficiency
As a business leader, I’ve seen how legislation can kindle or kill innovation and job growth. NJ must be more competitive to attract entrepreneurs and small businesses to start and grow here. I propose leveraging best practices from Pennsylvannia’s 30 year old Ben Franklin Technology Partnership which, in 2016 alone, supported 1412 companies, launched 446 products, and resulted in 1383 new jobs.

My NJ innovation program would include support for business owners and employees. For example, small businesses could launch in incubators with microloans. And private-public partnerships would provide on-the-job and vocational training. These types of state partnerships with New Jersey businesses would ensure the right investments in education are made as innovation evolves the job market.
We must end government corruption. I support the www.Represent.Us anti-corruption reforms which include: 1) Fix our broken elections: (a)End gerrymandering to ensure accurate representation for all voters, regardless of political party, (b)Let voters rank their top candidates so it is easier to elect independent-minded candidates who aren’t beholden to establishment special interests. 2) Change how elections are funded: (a)Make it illegal for politicians to take money from lobbyists (b)Ban lobbyist bundling, (c)Stop elected officials and senior staff from selling off their government power for high-paying lobbying jobs 3) End secret money: (a)Immediate disclosure of campaign fundraising and spending online for easy access to the public,(b)Stop donors from hiding behind secret-money groups
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