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VOTE411 Voter Guide

18th 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 Assembly Members, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • April Bengivenga (Rep)

  • Zhiyu "Jimmy" Hu (Rep)

  • Robert J. Karabinchak (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Nancy J. Pinkin (Dem) Health Consultant and Association Management

  • Candidate picture

    Sean A. Stratton (Grn) Environmental Scientist

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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 @nancypinkin
Qualifications/Experience Member, New Jersey General Assembly (2014 - present) East Brunswick Township Council (2005-14), President (2006-08); East Brunswick Planning Board (2005, 2008-09)
Property taxes remain a problem in New Jersey. I fully support funding the Senior Freeze and Homestead Tax Refunds – both programs stalled under the current administration. Moreover, municipalities no longer receive full funding of energy tax receipts which provides communities funding to stabilize its property taxes. I am sponsoring legislation that would return the receipts back to the municipalities. Need to examine the structurally make up of services that local, state and county levels of government provide in New Jersey, and find a solution that stresses efficiencies of certain services and streamlining the way government provides services for our taxpayers to reduce expenses.
Making full contributions into our pension system is a must. We have passed laws that require the State to make quarterly payments; however more needs to be done to get us back on the right fiscal track. Working with our public employees, we passed Chapter 78, which made changes to the pension system, yet the Governor reneged on the State’s part of the deal. This is not fair to the taxpayers or the employees. Businesses both in and out of New Jersey will not want to invest in our state, if they believe they will have to pay taxes to address our fiscal crisis. Must make take measures to improve our financial standing, and re-evaluate every expense, increase efficiency and reduce cost. And, only add expenses that are truly critical until finances are stabilized.
Supported investments in renewable energy projects including wind farms, solar panels on public lands, as well as tax incentives for private homeowners and commercial properties to invest in the installation of the same. Sponsored legislation banning fracking in New Jersey. Municipal and government agencies should continue with energy audits and implementing changes to decrease energy use. It is my hope that the next Governor will revisit such programs as RGGI, and the Energy Master Plan that will provide us with environmentally safer energy that will go a long way to protecting our natural resources for future generations. I personally take as many steps as possible to reduce energy consumption.
We need to reduce the cost of doing business in the State, and making all levels of government business friendly. Sponsored bills that would make it easier for companies to maintain a presence in New Jersey. I’ve been working to develop linkages between government agencies and employers. For example, we have met with Middlesex County officials and helped to roll-out an online portal to assess specific locations for population data, area needs and resources that would best match with businesses. Also, active in working with municipal government and local and county Chambers of Commerce to continue building bridges. I have hosted job fairs and leveraging government resources to meet the needs of employers and employees.
Need to address changes and cuts in social safety-net programs, like Medicaid, family planning services, providing funding to combat the opioid epidemic, immigration, and the EPA. Opposed to cuts in the Trump budget. I have been actively working with our federal delegation and members of our communities to push back on these changes. Worked with civil rights and social justice groups, to reduce the prison population and reform laws which have resulted in racially unequal prison rates. My bill that would have curbed the use of solitary confinement was vetoed by the Governor. Have sponsored legislation to address the $1.2 trillion of student debt, including tuition caps, book-sharing programs, and eliminating certain on-campus expenses that drive tuition rates.
Qualifications/Experience Stratton graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Since his graduation he has been working as an environmental consultant designing and executing remediation investigation strategies to collect and monitor air, soil, sediment, and surface water samples from contaminated sites. He holds his 40-hour OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Certificate along with the 8-hour OSHA Supervisor Training. Stratton is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, a professional organization geared towards occupational health and safety.
The solution to high property taxes is universal healthcare. By switching to a system in which the state provides quality healthcare for all, all municipalities in New Jersey would see a reduction of at least 15% of their annual budget. This significant reduction in budget would directly lower property taxes. The cost of the state of NJ running its own health care program is projected to bring down costs to employers and to employees in dramatic ways. After eliminating insurance payments, an increase in payroll taxes (6% on the employer side, 2% on the employee) could put this program into effect immediately.
The solution to fixing the pension problem is enacting universal healthcare. There are two parts to the pension, the pension itself and the health benefits portion. Every year the state of New Jersey pays the bill on the health care but pays only some of the contribution for the pension. By moving to a system of universal healthcare, the healthcare portion of the pension becomes obsolete. The payments that are used now to pay the healthcare benefits would be liberated and can be used to contribute to the pension payment.
As an environmental scientist I understand better than most that meeting our energy needs while protecting the environment is not easy. We need to insure our electrical appliances are highly efficient and easily available to our citizens with financial programs that encourage their use while recycling retired appliances. Incandescent light bulbs must be replaced with LEDs in the private sector and government. We need to stop investing in oil and gas and put a moratorium on pipelines . We can move to nearly 100% alternative energy by 2035. For the skeptics, President Kennedy stated that we would land on the moon before the end of the decade. We were able do so with computers weaker than my cell phone. We have the technology to go fully 100% renewable, we just need to implement it.
We need to rebuild and improve our roads, bridges, railroads, and sewer and water treatment plants. If I am elected I will put forward a bill to require the use of 100% renewable energy by 2035. We will need skilled workers to outfit homes with solar and upgrade energy efficiency, build offshore turbines to harness wind, and upgrade the electric grid. In addition we need to rebuild our water distribution system. In the 21st century lead pipes should not exist in our infrastructure. We need to remove every lead pipe . This will be expensive, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics every $1 spent on the prevention of lead exposure will lead to society receiving a benefit between $17 and $221. We must also upgrade our water utilities and increase our use of recycling.
All workers deserve a livable wage. I support raising the minimum wage to $15.

All individuals have the right to universal healthcare regardless of economic status. No one should be bankrupted or forced to sell a home by an injury or illness.

More stringent Drinking Water regulations are needed to ensure all have access to safe water. We need to deal with the statewide issue of lead contamination in our drinking water. Newark, Trenton, and Milltown are some of the towns that have exceeded the federal action level of lead concentrations. Any building can have high lead levels in drinking water from piping in the road or piping within the structure. If elected I will put forth a plan to remove the lead pipes under our streets and inside our homes to protect public health.

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