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VOTE411 Voter Guide

14th 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
  • Linda R. Greenstein (Dem) Full time legislator/attorney

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    Ileana Schirmer (Rep) Clinical Protocol Manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb

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.

Qualifications/Experience 17 years in the Legislature; Worked as a prosecutor and attorney for disabled; law professor.
A major cause of high property taxes is that New Jersey has too many municipal governments and school districts. Rather than force consolidation and regionalization, however, the state has to offer strong financial incentives to encourage these units to merge. Municipalities must also be allowed to assess broad impact fees on builders for school construction. The legislature needs to reassess which school districts are receiving too much state aid as a result of explosive economic growth and redistribute these funds to those not receiving adequate school funding. The state should also levy a so-called “millionaires tax” on our highest earners and use the funds for school funding and property tax relief.
The State should work with the public sector unions, through the process of collective bargaining, to ensure that payouts to the pension fund are made annually. I was a prime sponsor of the bill that created a constitutional amendment to require the state to increase its annual pension contributions until reaching the full amount recommended by actuaries. I also sponsored the bill to have payments made on a quarterly basis. I have been proud to work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that historically high pension payments have been made by the state in the past few years.
As Vice Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, I have been at the forefront of ensuring that our residents have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. My contributions in this area have consistently earned top endorsements from such groups as the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and Environment NJ. I have sponsored bills to ensure that the state becomes a leader in the area of electric cars, energy conservation, rejoins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and grants tax incentives to businesses that create renewable energy opportunities, such as solar and wind. I am opposed to fracking.
As a member of the Manufacturing Caucus, I am focusing on investments and policy changes we need to strengthen and grow our manufacturing sector. I sponsored the largest small business tax cut in state history. I would provide tax credits to ensure that our residents are being trained for high tech jobs. The state needs to provide maximum resources to our public universities to ensure that our residents are ready for tomorrow’s challenges. I am also in favor of providing targeted tax incentives to encourage more businesses to relocate here.
NJ Transit fares have increased exponentially in recent years and the state must do everything in its power to keep those increases in check. We must use our replenished Transportation Trust Fund to fund intelligent and forward-looking projects. As Chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, I feel that the State should adopt more stringent gun safety laws and better address the opioid epidemic. I support equal pay for equal work, and feel we must assist our veterans in every way when they return home, and assist our seniors by protecting the Senior Property Tax Freeze Program from cuts, funding PAAD and Senior Gold and encouraging legislation like the recent law that cuts state income taxes for retirement income. We must make NJ more affordable.
Website IleanaForSenate.com
Twitter @IleanaSenateNJ
Qualifications/Experience Hamilton Councilwoman of 5 years, Former Hamilton Council President, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, First Hispanic Woman elected in Mercer County
I support a range of measures to lower New Jersey’s exorbitant property taxes, including eliminating payouts to public workers for unused sick leave, encouraging shared services, further reforming public employee benefits, making the police and firefighter arbitration cap permanent, and reforming civil service. I support limiting certain unused sick leave pay to public employees. I also believe elected officials convicted of certain crimes should be stripped of their pensions.
Promises that were made in regard to paying to the pension system have to be honored. Delivering on the pension funding has to be honored and guaranteed before school and pre-school funding. To do that, we need to pay as much as we can afford into the system, and I think that current tenths system is an effective way to do that.
My father and grandfather were farmers in Cuba. After the communist government seized their crops and land, my family moved to New Jersey in search of economic opportunity. I am proud to have grown my children’s roots in the Garden State. I believe one can be environmentally conscious and economically conscious. I support structuring tax breaks for businesses that utilize solar panels.
I want to make New Jersey a friendlier place to do business. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I have firsthand dealt with the overbearing taxes and regulations causing companies to flee New Jersey. I want to review and cut onerous regulations that put unnecessary burdens on our small businesses. Career politicians want to pass bill after bill, but sometimes the best move can be removing legislation that hinders business growth.

As Hamilton Township Councilwoman, I have overseen 44.5 million dollars in new business taxable revenue and helped create an estimated 2,000 new jobs in Hamilton. I want to take my approach of common sense fiscal planning to the Statehouse. I will work with leaders of both parties to bring new jobs to Mercer and Middlesex counties.
New Jersey’s affordability is in crisis. Our state has a serious problem with spending and poor financial management. Proper financial management begins with removing unnecessary expenditures. I will clean up waste that in turn frees up funds.

As a product of public schools, I know our children's education is crucial to their success and cannot be shortchanged. I will not only fight for the fair funding that was promised but never delivered on during the current senator’s tenure, but I will also work to fix the Corzine-era flaws of the formula. My district’s students deserve adequate funding so each child can achieve their God-given potential.

As senator, I will sponsor Senate legislation 747, which make all persons convicted of sexual assault subject to the No Early Release Act.

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