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VOTE411 Voter Guide

38th 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.
  • Candidate picture

    Tim Eustace (Dem) Chiropractor

  • Candidate picture

    Dev Goswami (INA) Policy/Data Analyst

  • Candidate picture

    Joseph A. Lagana (Dem) Attorney

  • Bill Leonard Jr. (Rep)

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    Christopher B. Wolf (Rep) Pastor

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 @DrTimEustace
Qualifications/Experience Third term Assemblyman Chair, Environment & Solid Waste Comm. Vice Chair, Health & Senior Services Comm. Former Maywood Mayor and Councilman
Senator Gordon and I sponsored legislation making it easier for municipalities to consolidate. Duplicative services across NJ are keeping our property taxes from decreasing. If towns choose to merge they should be assisted by the State to streamline services.

Fully funding our school districts would allow for local budgets to be less reliant on property taxes. Special education and transportation costs should be shifted to the State to keep school budgets funding classroom activities and learning.

We should expand R-Health Direct Primary Care pilot program to North Jersey. This pilot program is treating government workers to save costs on providing healthcare and will pass on savings to taxpayers.
We must stop using private firms that charge hundreds of millions in fees to manage the pension funds.

Quarterly pension payments were a good start, but the State should be avoiding high interest charges by paying our bills more regularly like we all try to do at home.

The legislature has tried time and time again to increase income taxes on those making over $1 million. I anticipate that next year, with a new governor, NJ will have a new tax bracket for those making over $1 million. increasing our ability to fund the pension system.
As Chairman of the Assembly Environment & Solid Waste committee I am committed to zero-emission energy that will not only protect our environment, but protect the health of NJ residents. We should be working to increase all renewable energy in NJ starting with solar, offshore wind and hydropower. The school rooftops, the coast off Atlantic City and the Dundee dam in the Passaic River are all ready to help power our future. The State must make a greater commitment to renewable energy for those who can not afford to make changes at home. We can support energy conservation, lower costs for residents and protect our environment all at once.
As NJ residents, we are looking for ways to get out of their cars we must refocus our energy on 'Main Street', transit hubs and downtown improvements. Instead of the EDA spending millions upon millions on international company tax breaks, we should be spending money to turn downtowns into lively centers of commerce with mixed use buildings and access to public transportation.

By revitalizing our downtowns we can create construction jobs, retail and office space and new housing. This will help NJ meet a new generation's desire to live near where they work, eat and play.
Volkswagen was sued for faking diesel emission results and NJ will receive millions of dollars. We will expand our electric charging infrastructure and reduce air pollution all over the State. As we decide how to spend this money I will be an advocate for our region.

Elevated lead levels and leaky pipes must be addressed in our drinking water system. We must allocate even more money to remove lead from drinking water. I introduced legislation which requires water systems to audit how much drinking water is leaking out of pipes.

NJ must continue to fight for funding of a new bus terminal and fixes to our rail system. NJTransit must also focus on smaller stations and bus stops as potential for increased income and to create a better experience for riders.
Twitter @Dev4NJ
Qualifications/Experience Bachelor of Science in Biology-Rowan University, Former AmeriCorps HeadStart Fellow, Former Alzheimer's Researcher, Curremt NJAwakens Policy Analyst
The way to reduce property taxes is consolidation of service, reducing excess education budget like amount of superintendents, have more accountability/transparency for public funds, getting citizen initiatives on a state referendum ballot (NJ is one of the 7 states in the country which doesn't allow constituents to put questions on the ballot on a state wide level)....80% of your property taxes goes to a school system with classroom sizes. Examples where this worked..."Princeton consolidated from 2 separate governments serving 1 community in 2013.South Hunterdon regionalized 4 school districts into ONE district with one administration in 2014. South Hunterdon received NO State financial support for their study." We also need to decrease corruption, earmarks, and play for pay schemes.
The state pension system is another mess and the state is currently in 180 billion dollars in debt. We need to stop giving out contracts to politicians, their family members and divide the money up we have and put it in known money markets portfolios that work, investing both conservative and liberal approaches for pools of our retirees...The state needs to find credible independent financial investors who will invest the money in minerals, future energy markets, technology sectors, etc.. without charging fees. Again, NJ's issue is corruption- contracts given to politicians, George Norcross, etc. and is not beneficial for long term. If we cut costs, get independent financial advisers, prosecute corruption, increase taxes on the top 5% bracket in this state, etc.. we can solve it.
We need to make NJ home to start ups in the energy sector and put an emphasis on renewable energy sources like solar, biofuels, thermal, etc... We need to give further incentives so constituents are willing to install solar panels at their homes, give incentives to start up energy industries to come here, have an environment of entrepreneurial growth through independent state grant commissions. Energy and biotech are two of the industries which there is much room for innovation. I would most definitely support energy conservation, expansion of renewable energy projects. I am not the biggest fan of hydraulic fracturing or pipelines as we live in a densely populated state and our state is very polluted, so I would be against the fracking industries coming into our state.
Political cronyism within our state and tax breaks rewards massive corporations at the expense of our constituents who end up paying it with increased turnpike costs, sales taxes, property taxes. The system is not working for the majority of the people. We are one of the most educated states in the country yet our college graduates are suffering by taking low-wage jobs that don't utilize their education. Our youth is living this state in bunches and some of our highly educated do not have jobs due to that saturation of the markets. We need to partner up with entrepreneur schools like Babson and bring the best minds for two sectors-biotech and energy. We can't afford to give large corporations massive tax breaks and need to have start ups who grow and commit to stay here for decades.
1) Getting citizen initiatives on a state referendum ballot (NJ is one of the 7 states in the country which doesn't allow constituents to put questions on the ballot)...We need to have a more active democracy in our state. 2) Removing Corruption-This comes in the form of grants/earmarks from the federal government/state government with "matching programs" which rewards political consultants and does not hear the voices of parents and educators. There is very little accountability even in audits placed on municipal educational budgets and we need to hire out of box investigators who can dig deeper into municipal audits. Removing corruption within school system and state budget is a must. 3) Put Some Stress on the Democratic and Republican Parties---In New Jersey, they are the one and same
Twitter @JoeLaganaNJ
Qualifications/Experience Second term Assemblyman who previously served as Paramus Council President. Partner at a NJ law firm. Son of Italian immigrants, lifelong NJ resident, loving husband and father to two daughters.
As your Assemblyman, I have worked to incentivize efficiency and lower rates through shared services, which we were very effective at implementing while I was on the Paramus Council. The Democratic Caucus has also fought hard to protect essential programs like Senior Freeze, which helps older New Jerseyans stay in their homes through property tax relief. Along those lines, I also introduced legislation, which the Governor vetoed, that would have provided rebates to seniors who volunteer in their communities. Efforts like these make a difference for many people, but to achieve substantial relief the State has to fully fund our schools. I have fought to prioritize State spending on the school funding formula to ease this heavy burden which is crushing property tax payers.
I often point out that making the pension payments is the fiscally responsible thing for New Jersey to do. The State has suffered numerous credit downgrades for essentially failing to pay our bills and incurred millions of dollars in debt service by doing so. Failing to make payments only digs us deeper in the hole and costs us all more in the long run. Early in my first term, I introduced a measure to make quarterly payments so potential budget shortfalls at the end of the year would not put us in further debt, an idea that was later approved as a ballot question by voters. We must protect the interests of taxpayers and live up to our obligation to hardworking public employees, who never miss their payments into the system. Kicking the can down the road serves no one.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, however we still have a great deal of environmental features that are well worth preserving. I have joined my running-mate, Assembly Environment Committee Chairman Tim Eustace, in supporting a number of proposals to increase investment in clean energy and protect our natural resources and beauty. These efforts include fighting for New Jersey to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which of course would have brought in hundreds of millions in federal dollars had the Governor not withdrawn us from the program. When I weigh supporting any individual project I will always carefully consider the environmental impact it could have as well as how it will help us meet our long-term energy needs.
New Jersey lagged behind several other regional States in creating jobs following the recession. A major concern of mine is ensuring transparency and accountability in our economic development programs. We should not be giving away tax dollars to businesses that are not putting that money to work investing in New Jersey and creating new jobs. We also need to make it more affordable to get trained to do the jobs that are available currently, in some sectors there is a significant skills gap preventing greater employment levels.
Other critical issues include combating opioid addiction, improving our transportation infrastructure, and encouraging the growth of small business. I recognize that you cannot legislate an end to addiction, however I have introduced measures to help prevent the prescription drug abuse that often precedes heroin use, such as expanding the prescription monitoring program which will put pill mills out of business and reduce doctor shopping. Our transportation needs in New Jersey are unique, I put forth a bill to dedicate transportation trust fund money so that gas tax dollars would fix our roads and not be used as a political slush fund. Small businesses reinvest in our communities, I prioritize cutting red tape and providing tax relief for these job creating entrepreneurs.
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Twitter @ChristophBWolf
Qualifications/Experience Pastor and community leader. Prior to ministry, worked for a NJ Assemblyman and as a spokesman for the NJ Department of Community Affairs. Author of two books and host of radio talk show with a national audience.
In terms of leadership, we must insist that state, county and local governments turn to (PIP) Prioritizing, Innovation and Partnership as a way of operating. I support LG Guadangno's circuit breaker property tax relief. I would seek a new version of school funding.
Change in management of the plan. Keeping the commitment to those already in the system. New plan going forward that works for the state and for employees.
Absolutely need the balance. Technology is the key. Many processes can be made cleaner today. Yes, on conservation and renewable energy projects (solar panels for homes and businesses).
I want to create a "Main Street" economy - giving advantages to small businesses to thrive. I want to reduce the payroll tax rate for businesses with 10 employee or less. I want to codify the shop local concept - so that once a month the sales tax is reduced or suspended one Saturday a month for independent small businesses (non-mall). I will encourage more towns to create downtown/Main Street districts with property tax relief incentives and marketing efforts.
1. Reforming Social Services • Client/Family Centered approach • Shift to County/Local operationally; foster local partnerships to provide assistance • Emphasize outcome based – stronger, healthier families and individuals – graduating from assistance • Integrated and collaborative approach between agencies for assistance/training/parenting support

2. Community Partnerships • Using the Saddle Brook model, I will lead the 38th District towns in forming their own partnerships that unite leaders and services to reach and care for vulnerable citizens with little to no cost. I want to create connected communities as a way of helping vulnerable citizens - at-risk youth, young families and senior citizens.

3. Advocating for Life • Strong support of S2026/A3452 – Bans abortion after 20 weeks logo


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