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VOTE411 Voter Guide

7th District Assembly {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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 Assemblymembers, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Herb Conaway (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Carol Murphy (Dem) Policy Director

  • Octavia Scott (Rep)

  • Robert Thibault (Rep)

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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 @carolmurphyNJ
Qualifications/Experience Spending the past fourteen years navigating state government to modernize schools, increase transparency and fight for progressive priorities has prepared me to hit the ground running on day one.
New Jersey homeowners pay the highest property taxes in the nation. During the past decade, several reforms have slowed the growth of increases, while these efforts have helped, more must be done. There is no simple fix, but several innovative steps can lower our property tax burden. First, eliminate tax breaks for millionaires and dedicate that revenue to reduce property taxes for families making less than $250,000 annually. Second, fully funding the school aid formula would reduce our local property tax burden. Third, get serious about local shared service agreements to reduce spending without reducing services. These steps along with an analysis of structural reforms would provide a roadmap to reducing the property tax burden and make New Jersey more affordable.
The annual payment to the state pension system is not optional, but rather a legal obligation. I'm proud as a policy director to have worked closely with legislative Democrats to support passage of state budgets that funded the pension system fulfilling that obligation. Unfortunately, Governor Christie has line-item vetoed that payment, which has put our state's fiscal health at risk. This reckless approach to managing our finances has increased state debt and has resulted in the state's credit rating being downgraded a record 11 times during this administration. As State Assemblywoman, I will fight for a budget that funds the pension, reducing our state debt and put New Jersey back on a path to improved fiscal health.
In a state of nearly 9 million people, our densely-populated communities face growing demands for energy and we must be on the forefront demanding clean and renewable solutions. We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on offshore wind projects that would help reestablish New Jersey as a clean energy leader, which will reduce our carbon footprint and will create new local jobs. As we strive for smarter solutions, requiring an increase in electricity purchases from local solar and wind sources will help our economy and protect our environment. Additionally, preserving open space is critical to protecting our drinking water, and I will fight to advance clean and renewable policies to make New Jersey more energy independent.
As our neighboring states have economically rebounded, New Jersey has suffered under the failed policies of Governor Christie. Specifically, the state now spends 1 billion dollars annually on business tax credit programs, that have been criticized as unfair to small businesses. We must audit and analyze business tax credits to ensure that state spending spurs job growth and not corporate giveaways. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and create nearly two-thirds of every new job nationally. I will fight for policies to help jumpstart job growth for local small business owners. Lastly, we must seize the opportunity to create clean energy jobs by investing in offshore wind projects that will create local jobs bolstering innovation to grow our economy.
As State Assemblywoman, I will fight to restore funding for women's healthcare, enact equal pay protections and reduce senseless gun violence. First, the cuts to Planned Parenthood are about to reach $60 million under Governor Christie and even worse, the fiscally reckless decision has cost New Jersey tens of millions in federal matching funds. These cuts denied women preventive healthcare services and life-saving cancer screenings. Second, New Jersey women make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and we must pass equal pay protections to close the wage gap. Third, commonsense gun violence reforms can be achieved by reducing large capacity magazines used in tragic shootings from Columbine to Sandy Hook, promoting smart gun technology and strengthening background checks.
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