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I will work to restore property tax relief like the Homestead Rebate, especially for our seniors. More affordable education, healthcare, and functional transportation will also help keep young people, families and seniors here at home. Keeping families together is a priority.

To create more New Jersey-based jobs, we need to use reasonable tax incentives and responsible oversight but it should not be our only tool. To function with transparency and fairness, we need to to cut the waste and make sure everyone pays their share. Trenton has allowed rampant fiscal irresponsibility, giving away billions of dollars in wasteful tax cuts to corporations with no oversight and no proven benefit for the state. Meanwhile individual taxpayers pick up the slack. We need transparent tax policies and an end to transactional politics.

We all know New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the country, a pain that was intensified by the loss of our full State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions on our federal returns last year in a bill our current representative supported. The problem will not disappear overnight, but with a fundamental shift in focus in state government we will change course for New Jersey and move forward.

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New Jersey boasts state-of-the-art hospitals, but black women here are three times more likely than white women to die from complications due to pregnancy. This is unacceptable. In a state where companies are on the verge of curing cancer, we have residents who can’t afford their medication. No parent should be forced to choose between their child’s medicine and their own. No one should go without coverage because they can’t afford it or access it. I support the State-based New Jersey Health Exchange to greatly expand our pool and stabilize costs.

No matter what happens in Washington, New Jersey must do better to protect our healthcare and expand coverage to everyone:

  • Protect essential coverage like pre-existing conditions and allowing adult children to stay on their parents plans.
  • Protect pre-natal and all reproductive healthcare coverage.
  • Require coverage of mental health and addiction treatment.
  • Lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand coverage for medications our doctors prescribe.
  • Eliminate the terrible disparities in access and outcomes for residents based on income, geography and race.

In this way we will stabilize the market, expand the pool and manage costs for everyone.  

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As an Assemblywoman I will work to support our schools by:

  • Implementing the school funding formula so municipalities can predict what they will receive and manage budgets accordingly.
  • Fighting for Trenton to cover some of the costs of special education, staff and training which are not equally shared across districts.
  • Reducing the excessive use of for-profit standardized tests that burden our students, our teachers, and our budgets.
  • Protecting the earned benefits of current and retired teachers from further depletion. Over many years, members of the state government, including both of our incumbents, betrayed their obligations to teachers and staff. The health of our schools depends on rebuilding that trust.

Our district boasts state-of-the-art Vo-Tech programs so popular that every year two out of three students who want to enroll are turned away for lack of space. Demand for advanced technical training in twenty-first century professions like IT, engineering, organic farming, and health care sciences is high and prepares our young people for immediate jobs or for two- and four-year colleges. We need to expand those offerings into traditional high schools while also making higher education in New Jersey more financially accessible to all our kids.

Support for our schools, teachers and staff is not to be taken for granted in Trenton, where many current lawmakers still look to dismantle crucial funding for education at every level. We must elect representatives with the independence and vision to help our schools prepare New Jersey students to thrive now and long into the future.

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The Port Authority has in the past been a place for political appointees rather than qualified experts. And even our former congressional delegation sold out New Jersey’s needs for political gain in Washington.

These former practices have gotten us where we are, though the turnaround has already begun. Rebuilding not just for today but for the future of our state will take new determination, focus and oversight. The reward will be a system that once again attracts industry and jobs to the region. We have no time left to delay. I will be an active partner to our new leadership in Trenton and Washington, and will make long-overdue investments in transportation and infrastructure while ensuring full transparency, fiscal responsibility, and decision-making driven by expertise rather than political connections.

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Our struggles are serious.

  • We have the highest density of polluted sites in the country, in the state with the densest population, putting millions of residents within a mile of contamination.  
  • Our water and energy infrastructure is seriously degraded, allowing poison to leach into our drinking water, and we are falling behind on energy production and delivery systems.
  • We’ve ignored the impact of global warming on our economy as well as on our communities, and pay billions in storm and flood damage cleanup.

But our resources are abundant as well.

  • The Highlands provides clean drinking water to over 6 million people.
  • Green Energy jobs are among are the fastest growing job sectors in the country and New Jersey can be the leader in job creation.
  • Offshore wind farms have the capacity to cut our state’s carbon production and to create long term jobs.
  • We have income opportunities to explore from joining the global carbon initiative.

We can’t afford to keep re-electing legislators like our incumbents who refuse to protect our air and water, to address and plan for the effects of global warming and to invest in broad-based innovation in our energy production and delivery systems.  

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These rights are under threat all over the country and even here in New Jersey. As recently as 2010, New Jersey’s Legislature eliminated family planning from the budget, a cut that was not even 0.25% of the total annual budget but nearly $60 million over the next 8 years. During these years:

  • More than 10% of publicly funded women’s health clinics closed their doors for good.
  • The rate of sexually transmitted diseases rose 27% in the state and over 50% in one third of our counties including Morris County.
  • The rate of cancer pre-screening dropped by 20%.

Funding for family planning clinics was finally restored last year, but many in the Assembly who voted to eliminate it–including our incumbents–remain. I will not compromise when it comes to women’s health and freedom of choice.