Hunterdon County Freeholders Call On Governor Murphy To Use Executive Authority To Stop 22.5% Gas Tax Increase
During the September 15th Hunterdon County Freeholder Board meeting, Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren and Freeholder John E. Lanza called on Governor Phil Murphy to use the executive authority he used to shut down the state’s economy to halt the 9.3 cents per gallon gas tax increase scheduled for October 1st.
Lanza stated, “The gas tax will go up again, this time by 22.5%, from 41 to 50 cents per gallon, on October 1st, and it will be ruinous to residents, commuters and businesses at a time it can be least afforded. The tax hike will increase costs on already struggling businesses here in the county and throughout the state, at a time when many businesses are barely hanging on. The Governor can stop it, if he wants to.”
Van Doren said, “It seems incongruent that the Governor can use his extraordinary powers due to the public health emergency to stop the economy in its tracks, but now cannot stop a gas tax increase that will so negatively impact residents and businesses.”
Hunterdon County Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren recently submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) comments on Penn East’s proposed amendment to build the pipeline in two phases, citing environmental and economic concerns, calling for a re-examination the draft ‘Environmental Assessment’ (EA) that declares a finding of no significant impact.
Van Doren stated, “FERC needs to take the draft EA back to the drawing board. Using the draft Assessment to declare a finding of ‘no significant impact’ is inaccurate and a disservice to the public. There is no mention in the EA of the affect on residential property rights, preserved farmland, and protected environmental assets and resources.”
Newly Elected Hunterdon County Republican Chairman Gabe Plumer stated,
“Every year since Democrat Phil Murphy has become Governor, aid to most of Hunterdon County's school districts has been cut, while he continues to increase aid in his more favored communities around the state. This unfairness causes higher property taxes and hurts school children in Hunterdon County.”
“This year he has proposed $2.6 million in cuts to twenty Hunterdon school districts, while planning to borrow $4 billion to support other budget schemes,” Plumer said in the strategy document. “The Governor has targeted Hunterdon County and voters need to send him a very clear, very strong message that we are not going to take it, by voting Republican – for Freeholder Board Director Shaun C. Van Doren, in the November 3rd election.”
Hunterdon County Freeholders Continue to Press for CARES Act Funding & Demand Lawmakers Restore $2.6 million in Planned Cuts from 20 School Districts
On the CARES Act:
A recent freeholder discussion on steps for the state government to reimburse Hunterdon County for COVID-19 pandemic-related costs turned into a discussion on the countywide economic outlook and the future of COVID-19 testing, with associated expenses, for an area of western New Jersey which did not qualify for allocations of federal CARES Act funding in spring due to being among a dozen counties statewide with populations of under 500,000.
On School District Funding Cuts:
Hunterdon County freeholders are calling for the restoration of $2.6 million in state education aid cuts to the 20 school districts in the county impacted by Gov. Phil Murphy’s new proposed budget, though the budget calls for the state to spend the same amount on all K-12 schools as it did in the 2019-2020 school year.
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) stated,
"The budget proposed today by Governor Murphy is big on spending and political agenda, but comes up small on affordability and common sense.
I wish we heard more in the way of helping people who are struggling financially during this pandemic. There are many residents in our state who are in a tough spot right now because the Governor is not focusing on getting people back to work and helping improve their personal budgets.
This spending proposal won’t make life any easier for residents who are having difficulties making ends meet.
With eight new taxes that would cost more than $1 billion, and $4 billion in borrowing to fund out-of-control spending initiatives, it is clear taxpayers can give up hopes for a more affordable New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Erik Peterson Slams Governor Murphy for Allowing NJ Unauthorized Immigrants to Attain Professional and Occupational Licenses
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) stated,
"In 2018 Gov. Murphy allowed illegal immigrants to qualify for taxpayer-funded college financial aid.
In 2019 Gov. Murphy granted illegal immigrants driver's licenses.
In 2020 Gov. Murphy gave illegal immigrants professional licenses.
Over 1.3 million people in New Jersey are unemployed due to Gov. Murphy's lockdown. Many are facing financial struggles and some have still not received their promised unemployment benefits.
For the Governor to sign this legislation allowing illegal immigrants to directly to take the jobs of our neighbors, friends and family who are citizens or here legally is wrong. The Governor and the Democrats in the Legislature that voted for this legislation, like the Mayor of Portland are encouraging and rewarding lawlessness. Shameful.
For those of you who sat quietly while low skilled workers lost their jobs to illegal immigrants now, with this new law, illegal immigrants can now take your job as a CPA, doctor, nurse, lawyer etc.
Is this the New Jersey you want for your family?
I voted against this legislation as rewarding lawlessness leads to the anarchy we are witnessing in Portland. This is the path of lawlessness that Governor Murphy and the Democrats are running to catch up on."
Senator Mike Doherty to Speak at Hunterdon County 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony Alongside Freeholder Shaun Van Doren and Sheriff Fred Brown
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), Freeholder Shaun Van Doren, Sheriff Fred W. Brown, law enforcement officials, and first responders from around the county will convene at the annual Hunterdon County Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony, at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, on the Historic Courthouse steps on Main Street in Flemington.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony and is advised to wear face coverings.
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23)
Assemblyman Peterson has expressed disdain over the Governor's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the reopening of gyms at 25% capacity, Assemblyman Peterson calls for the reopening of indoor dining as well.
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) stated,
“I’d like for Governor Murphy to explain how he can unilaterally modify or suspend a host of statutes without legislative approval. In my estimation as a legislator who believes in the separation of powers, the governor simply doesn’t have that authority to rewrite or ignore laws as he sees fit, even if his intentions are sincere. Like dozens of other efforts that the legislative and executive branches have collaborated on since March to improve New Jersey’s ability to respond to COVID-19, any changes to our elections that conflict with existing statutory law must be accomplished through the regular legislative process. Anything less would reduce the confidence of many New Jerseyans that our elections are being conducted in a fair manner that protects their vote.”
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) stated,
"The mail box is not the ballot box,” said Senator Kip Bateman. “Voting, in person voting, is the centerpiece of our freedom, but in Murphy’s New Jersey, residents cannot go to the polls this fall for a presidential election and vote in person. That baseless decision shuns tradition and defies our American rights, chipping away at the essence of our democracy. This is an overreach by a Governor using the pandemic as a license to rewrite our laws. Residents can’t stand in line a few minutes to cast their vote, yet they are forced to line up for hours in overcrowded Motor Vehicle Agencies to renew paperwork or register a car. This action isn’t about health risks, it’s about ideology. Men and women of all colors shed blood, sweat and tears to fight for the right to vote, and that sacred right is being adulterated by this order that exposes the entire election process to the flaws and vulnerabilities of voting by mail. Our residents should be voting in person, unless they choose the mail-in alternative."
Hunterdon County’s Freeholders have released a letter sent today to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) calling for accountability equally from both Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and the BPU for the utility’s failure to live up to the BPU’s 2018 Order on Reliability and Security, and the state agency’s failure to monitor JCP&L’s performance.
Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren stated, "Our residents are angry and frustrated. JCP&L’s communications performance, with residents and businesses, and most particularly with county and local emergency response personnel, failed to meet the standards established by the BPU’s July 2018 Order, which was entered in response to the March 2018 windstorm.”
Freeholder Deputy Director Sue Soloway stated, "“It has been eight years since Hurricane Sandy and over two years since the July 2018 BPU Order and in this latest storm Hunterdon County residents have seen very little in reliability or security from JCP&L, and the BPU must own up to its’ responsibility for this failure.”
Van Doren and Soloway wrote in the letter to BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso, ‘The BPU has a responsibility to ensure that the utility improvements that have been ordered, and for which ratepayers are charged, are followed through on. That apparently has not happened. The public demands accountability equally from both JCP&L and the BPU.’