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.
Senator Vitale's full biography is on his website at www.senatorjoevitale.org.
A key way to lower property taxes is by freeing up more state funding to municipalities to aid in offsetting their costs. This can be done through increased school funding, by making the senior property tax freeze permanent, and additionally through finally pushing through surprise medical billing reform. This costs the state many million dollars each year, and if it could be reformed in a sustainable way (S1285), we could use that funding towards lowering property tax burdens. In addition, municipalities should really consider consolidating services in an effort to cut their own budgets.
We are already well on our way to shoring up the pension system here in New Jersey. Making quarterly payments will continue to add to the viability of the system. We can also look to the other ways to free up funds in other areas of the state budget so that our pension obligations can be fully funded. As mentioned above, the passage of surprise medical billing reform can add to relieving other budget pressures, potentially freeing up revenue for obligations like property tax reform and pension contributions.
I absolutely support energy conservation and the expansion of renewable energy projects. I believe the government serves an important role in informing residents about ways they can conserve energy in their homes that will go a long way in helping our state and country meet it's conservation needs. Pipelines should only be used in the most rare circumstances and on the condition that they are safely moving natural resources in the most environmentally sound ways.
New Jersey should start by raising the minimum wage to $15. Better paid, more stable jobs will lead to better profits and increased job growth for New Jersey's businesses, large and small. Another way we can promote job growth is by ensuring New Jersey has a health insurance market that offers quality, affordable health care that is not just tied to employer-sponsored plans. By strengthening the individual market, employers can free up their own resources to invest in their businesses, promote those already in their workforce, and bring on new positions.
If I am granted a new term, I plan to continue my work fighting the opioid crisis, first and foremost. We have made progress over the last several years to pass legislation that targets the four areas of fighting this crisis- prevention, education, treatment, and recovery. I will continue this work as we learn more about the crisis and evidence-based ways to fight it.
I plan to dig further into issues of maternal health to help New Jersey better care for mothers during pre-natal care, during child birth, and after the child birth.
I plan to finally see a change to the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. I have been fighting to expand the statute of limitations to allow more victims to bring their perpetrator to justice for many years, and hope that with a new Governor